Tag Archives: Charity Navigator

Nonprofit Radio for January 4, 2021: New Year, New Charity Navigator

My Guests:

Michael Thatcher & Elijah Goldberg: New Year, New Charity Navigator
The rating site Charity Navigator has taken on impact reporting and vastly expanded the number of nonprofits evaluated. What does all this mean for your nonprofit? How do you get in on CN’s Encompass rating system? Michael Thatcher and Elijah Goldberg, both from Charity Navigator, chart your course across the freshly open waters.




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[00:02:42.94] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio. Big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Happy New Year. I hope you enjoyed the heck out of your New Year and the holidays. I hope you took time off. I hope the new year meant some time for reflection for you. Reflection backwards. Reflection. Looking ahead. Um, yeah, it’s a good time for reflection on. I hope you enjoyed the heck out of your holidays. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be forced to endure the pain of neo and a phobia if I feared that you missed this week’s show. New Year New Charity Navigator. The rating sight charity Navigator has taken on impact reporting and vastly expanded the number of nonprofits evaluated. What does all this mean for your non profit? Have you get in on CNN’s encompass rating system? Michael Thatcher and Elijah Goldberg, both from Charity Navigator, chart your course across the freshly open waters. I’m tony is take two New year optimism. I can’t help it were sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot ceo and by dot drives Prospect to donor. Simplified tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant for a free demo and a free month. Let’s kick off 2021 New Year. New Charity Navigator It’s my pleasure to welcome Michael Thatcher and Elijah Goldberg to the show. Michael Thatcher leads Charity Navigator in its efforts Toe make impactful philanthropy easier for all by improving evaluation methods so that more charities get rated. More potential donors view the ratings and all the stakeholders arm or engaged. Charity Navigator is that charity Navigator or GE? And Michael is at M. Thatcher. Elijah Goldberg leads the development of Charity Navigator’s impact ratings. He’s the former executive director and co founder of Impact Matters, which charity Navigator acquired this year. 2020 to incorporate impact estimates into its ratings. He’s at Elijah Goldberg. Michael, Elijah. Welcome to non profit radio.

[00:02:48.34] spk_1:
Delighted to be here, tony. Thank you.

[00:02:50.12] spk_0:
Thank you for

[00:02:50.64] spk_2:
having us.

[00:02:51.17] spk_0:
Pleasure to have you. Thank you. Michael. Why don’t you get us started? Um, just since July, Charity navigator is evaluating. Ah, lot more charities than you were earlier this year.

[00:03:29.24] spk_1:
Yeah, and essentially, we’ve made a pretty big step change going from rating annually. About 9000 charities a year to reading 160,000. So exponential shift. And that’s primarily due to the fact that we have a lot mortuary teas now that our e filing their 1990 which is the tax form they use and were able to process that information with greater automation than we were in the past.

[00:03:46.04] spk_0:
Yeah, well, I don’t I don’t want to quibble with with a numbers person, numbers and technology, person. But you say it’s exponential. 9000 to 160,000, but 9000, just 9000 just squared would be 81 million.

[00:03:51.54] spk_1:
So it zig

[00:03:53.79] spk_0:
to what’s sad, Elijah exponents could be fractions, right? Oh, Could be a fraction. Okay. All right. So it could be okay. Yeah. The point is, thank you. There’s a numbers person. All right. Thank you very much. So it doesn’t have to be a whole number. All right? So you’re Yes. Thank you. Um, I already got myself in trouble. We’re not even, like, two minutes into this. All right?

[00:04:18.09] spk_2:
Uh, all the time.

[00:04:18.75] spk_0:
All right. But I’m thinking at least I’m thinking about what you’re saying. I’m not I’m not just glossing over. All right, so, you know, from 269,000? Yeah. So I think a lot of people are still thinking you’re in there, like, eight or 9000 range. So we’ve got to dispel that misconception. Right away. 160. All right.

[00:04:35.34] spk_1:
Yeah. Three other thing. Just. Well, the other thing that to say on that is what this is allowing for is it’ll. It’s opening up to smaller, newer in a very different set of nonprofits. And we’ve been looking at in the past

[00:05:19.24] spk_0:
because of this automation I gather when it was I mean, I remember when it was just a few 1000 then it grew to several 1000. That was big news. Um, I don’t give a shout out to Ken Berger when Ken Berger was CEO. He’s been on. He was on the show a few times. Um uh, you have charity navigator. Um, but eso now, automation, you’ve you’ve scaled up considerably. Um, that’s which. Which benefits more charities. Which benefits more donors and potential donors. Um, yeah. So at the end of our conversation, we’re gonna get into what should a charity do just to get rated for the for the many that aren’t How did they get You know what we’re gonna talk about and encompass rating? How do they get an impact and result rating we’re gonna get? So we’re gonna hold that off till the end. Like, what do charities do to get these to get to the next level from where they might be? Um, but so, Michael, acquaintance with the Encompass rating system, which is also new.

[00:06:55.74] spk_1:
Sure. And I think that’s really the key to the significant growth in the number of ratings. So encompasses looking to leverage, leverage, automation, where we can bring in information from through partners and then also directly from the nonprofits. It’s a system that’s broken up into four beacons or topic areas. And what we launched in July with was wth e financing accountability beacon, which is very similar to the ratings that we’ve been doing for the last 20 years through the star rated system In October of this year, through the joining of impact matters to Charity Navigator, we also launched the impact and results speaking, and that is adding a component of oven impact assessment to the ratings Now there is a smaller number that actually have that impact rating today. Coming next will be the culture and community beacon, which is going to be looking at things like how you engage with your constituents or, you know, beneficiary voice. Ah, diversity equity and inclusion with other elements of how the nonprofits engage with their community. And then lastly, we’re gonna be looking at leadership and adaptability, and that’s the fourth kind of real topic area. So it’s trying to give you a much more holistic view of a non profit that you would consider investing in as a donor.

[00:07:16.14] spk_0:
Okay. And these air four beacons, right? If you’re

[00:07:18.69] spk_1:
calling the beacons to stay in the navigation theme.

[00:07:50.14] spk_0:
Oh, very clever. You see, I didn’t even realize. Okay. All right. You’re our compass, Jerry. Navigators are compass. Um, all right. So, Elijah, let’s let’s bring you in, eh? So what? What impact matters has added to charity Navigator’s ratings is the impact and results beacon. Uh, this is notoriously difficulty, but I saw you in one interview Say that you don’t really find it as difficult as you think. It often is considered to be this measuring of impact.

[00:08:43.44] spk_2:
Yeah. Uh huh. I think there are different types of difficulty or their different difficulty could refer to different things. So e think the overall process of saying okay, we’re going to try and figure out take any non profit out there. What? What is its impact? And we try and do that at some degree of scale has proven a pretty difficult problem. We’ve been working on it now for for about five or six years on dhe, we’ve made some significant headway. We’ve, you know, we started with about 10 nonprofits. We got up to about 50 now worked about 1000 eso. There’s been Cem Cem progress there, but it remains a challenging issue on mostly that’s because of the wide sort of diversity

[00:08:44.25] spk_0:
of diversity, of missions. Right, diversity. Education is a lot different than the impact of a soup kitchen is a lot different than the impact of a domestic violence shelter.

[00:09:24.14] spk_2:
Exactly. And they all have different activities as well. And so you could have you have two missions that have two different sets of activities causing them, and and you have to understand the impact very differently. Even though the mission is the same similar you have to activities that have different outcomes, you know, So so s so that I think that that challenge is hard. I think the part that I was referring to that that I think is made out to be harder than it needs to be often is for it individual non profit to invest in understanding its own impact. Ah, nde the it’s not, you know it is a. It is a process that requires effort and attention and so forth. But often the standard is the, you know, something that came to the academic standard of proof, which is a which is a very high bar on dhe. There’s a lot of barriers and and sort of impediments that are placed in front of a non profit thio to go down that path. And what we realized is not for every non profit but for ah you know, a large chunk of them, uh, they can understand their impact in kind of a meaningful way through a much more simple process, much more simple way.

[00:10:10.34] spk_0:
So how have you ratified this? Simplified this so that charity navigator could begin the ratings an impact evaluation. The key thing

[00:10:11.15] spk_2:
that we’ve we’ve sort of hit on is this idea of we call them kind of program types. But this idea that you could look at a kind of, ah collection of activities that an outcome together and determine that they are, uh, that they could be used Thio to create a pretty straightforward calculation to figure out the impact of that organization. So, uh, in other words, like, if we look at, uh, you know a filter program, you know something is distributing clean water filters. We can look at the type of filter from that. We understand the efficacy of the filtration. We understand the longevity of filtration. We could know something about the, you know how many are distributed in a particular area, and we can understand what the coverage rate of clean water was in that area and how quickly it’s growing year over year. All of those data points are fairly easy to get. I mean, they’re not, you know, they’re not. You don’t just walk off the street with them, But most nonprofits are able to get that information, and we can then combine that with a ZX needed estimates from the literature and, you know, academic publications. And, you know, great literature like the U. N. Reports and so forth. Um, in a equation that will come to a cost effectiveness, come to an impact estimate number.

[00:12:30.54] spk_0:
Okay, Right. So and we’ll get to that. That’s part of what you’re alluding to is the counterfactual. What? What would have happened if the organization hadn’t been providing service? Um, so So you’re talking about it. So it’s a mixture of reported data directly from the nonprofits and publicly available data. Exactly. Yeah. Okay. It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times? You wanna be in papers like that? I suppose. How about CBS Market Watch? The Chronicle of Philanthropy? Turn two has the relationships with outlets like these. So when they’re looking for experts on charitable giving, non profit trends or philanthropy, they call turn to turn two calls, you turn hyphen two dot c o. Now back to New Year, new charity navigator. And

[00:12:30.88] spk_2:
you know I mean the typical kind of the best in class, so to speak, the gold standard is Okay. Let’s run a large, expensive long term trial that looks at specific outcomes for this population. This activity, it

[00:12:45.27] spk_0:
requires a couple of PhDs or at least a couple students a couple of years, right?

[00:12:51.40] spk_2:
Yeah. Yeah. And so and that’s gonna give. I mean, that’s definitely gonna give the quote better answer. But the trade off, as you say in terms of the staffing of the time of the money and so forth, is usually not worth it. I mean, it’s much better for most nonprofits. Get a number that’s not quite as accurate, but is actually much faster, much cheaper, therefore, much more actionable. Okay, He’s

[00:13:17.34] spk_0:
okay. Um, and your well, let me ask that. I do wanna do a basic question, Michael. How does how do these encompass ratings relate to the star ratings that people I think are very familiar with 0 to 5 stars? Uh, yeah. What’s the relationship there, if any, or how did they coexist?

[00:14:22.94] spk_1:
So right now, they’re co co existing in parallel. And if you think about it, the encompass rating is what in the accountability and or the finance and accountability Beacon is a subset of what goes into the star rating. The star rating has a eligibility criteria which is a bit. It’s a higher bar in that we’re looking at organizations that air over a million dollars in revenue, seven years of tax filing and 40% of the revenue coming from individual donations. Encompass doesn’t require we need three years of continuous data, uh, and file data. So we’re we’ve reduced that to three years. We’re also the only four were only requiring that it be a 9 90 that we used to base that information over time. The goal is to harmonize the two systems and and bring them together so that we don’t have to systems running in parallel. The reality is, encompasses a fast moving growing system. It tze leveraging software development techniques like agile to reiterate relatively quickly with something that’s, you know, good enough or, ah, minimal viable product. And then we’re gonna iterated on time. So a big part of our development process right now is gathering feedback from donors, nonprofits, other users on How is this working for you? And in that spirit, you know, we’ve we ran a survey across about ended up about 1500 responses in the at the end of September, and we’re right now we’re tracking at about 84% satisfied or more than satisfied in terms of how people are receiving the new system.

[00:15:24.94] spk_0:
What’s your goal for the end of 2021 for how many will have the encompass rating? Um, it part of that

[00:15:26.95] spk_1:
is gated right now by E filing. And so the number is going to go up significantly as more and more organizations consistently e file,

[00:15:35.70] spk_0:
you know, because

[00:15:36.68] spk_1:
legislation So it will, you know it’s gonna grow by itself.

[00:15:48.34] spk_0:
Because the organization needs three consecutive years of e filing of the 1990. This

[00:15:48.82] spk_1:
may be getting into too much too much into the weeds way, non

[00:15:55.28] spk_0:
profit radio listeners. Very savvy group we can we

[00:15:57.50] spk_1:
can handle. No. But what’s happening now is that you’re going to start having organizations that may not have a 1990. But they do have an impact impact and results score or one of the other beacons will fill in. And so that’s gonna still result in some scoring and basically information for donors to look at in there giving decision,

[00:16:17.34] spk_0:
Okay, But they will be penalized no for not okay,

[00:16:21.35] spk_1:
Okay, It just won’t be counted. It won’t be factored in.

[00:16:34.14] spk_0:
Okay. All right. Um, Elijah s o. A basic question for you. I feel like we should distinguish between outcomes and impact. I’m not sure that that’s clear in everybody’s minds. I hear them used interchangeably, and I try to be careful not to do that. You make that distinction, please.

[00:18:34.94] spk_2:
Well, it’s a It’s a good question. I will say that we we have got We’ve gotten to the point internally where every word we use, we kind of define it ourselves because of that exact problem that that so much of the so much of the lingo is intermix that if we just assume people know what we’re saying, then then we’re gonna be in trouble. So I don’t think that that that’s just to say, like, I don’t think there is, like, a clear, universal answer the way that we distinguish it. Is that an outcome, you know, refers to, uh, typically, uh, like a change in in something that we care about What? The user. So it might be a change in their salary Or so I mean, I was talking users. I should be talking beneficiaries or participants. Okay. Uh, you know, change in salary, you achievement of a job so forth. Then we want to think of counterfactual outcomes. So those air what would have happened without the program? So, you know, without the program, would they have done the job? That’s the counterfactual outcomes, you know, Maybe without it they wouldn’t. That’s the counterfactual outcome with the program they did. That’s the outcome. And then when we when we take the difference of those those air the net outcome. So those were like, What? What is actually being caused by the program? We actually to get to impact, then take those outcomes and divide them by cost. We think of impact we define impact is being actually out cost, not just outcomes. Um, and that’s like That’s That’s kind of our definition. That’s not a, you know, ah, universal definition. I think the reason we we settled on it is because you know, the notion of outcomes without cost is is a little meaningless. It’s it’s difficult, you know. Even organization said we save five years, five lives last year that could be a large number of small number. I mean, if it’s a if it’s a community health center. That’s a large number. If it’s the Red Cross, I don’t know. I mean, that’s that’s Z. You know, there’s been a couple billion a year, so we have to understand, you know, we have to add costs of that equation to really understand what the outcomes mean. Okay. All right.

[00:18:52.14] spk_0:
Well, again, you know, you guys spend your days thinking about this. Uh, e think the more common understanding is that but it is not to supplant what you just described. I’m just saying, You know, I think most people understand that is like using your water filtration example. The outcome would be we distributed 150,000 water filters. But the impact would be lives saved or cholera avoided, or other insect born what waterborne diseases avoided or something like that?

[00:19:57.84] spk_2:
Yeah. I mean, that’s a That’s an interesting point. I mean, I think that a lot of I think you’re writing often that the distinction, you know, is between the sort of, you know, to two factors. One is like the tempo temporal ity of it is that, like a non upstream or downstream out outcome like that happened right away to happen later and also like the significance Is that something we really care about or we care Onley instrumentally about we We sometimes use the term or often use the term intermediate and final outcomes Thio to distinguish between those two. Um, or we use the term proxy to say that it’s actually it shows that the outcomes moving, but not the actual. But all of this again is like it Z There’s never gonna be in agreement, right? Like, way put the flag in the sand of like what we’re calling things that were internally consistent. But we recognize that that’s that’s just

[00:20:07.34] spk_0:
us. Okay, Okay. Alright. Aggression, impact. Versace’s a sort of a

[00:20:12.42] spk_2:
lot of confusion, I think because people use the same term but mean different things and don’t kind of get to the point of of that exact clarification that you ask for. I

[00:20:33.04] spk_0:
think it’s definitely true. Yeah, yeah. Um, all right, so there’s a lot of social science methodology at the heart of this at the heart of these things. Impact rating. Can you Can you say what we’ve what? We’ve what you’ve transported from social science research methods, thio, non profit impact evaluation readings.

[00:21:13.34] spk_2:
Yeah. I mean, I think that at a fundamental level, we’re following, you know, the, uh you know, the science of causal inference. Right? So how do we understand that A actually causes B? Ah nde? And there’s been, you know, a lot of work in the academic world over last couple 100 years to build both the theory and the methods of doing that on dhe largely. You know, there’s a lot of different pieces of that, but like one of the major pieces that that kind of you know, crops up again and again Is this question of the counterfactual right? Especially what would have happened? Um, had we not intervened had, you know, had had this ruler stayed in power for that? I mean, anything that happens in the world, we could say, Well, what would have happened if that didn’t happen on dhe? Sometimes that’s more of an academic exercise. But when it comes to social programs, it turns out to be a very important one because we’re making choices over shared resource is social resource is of some sort. We’re making a choice to do something with those to try and solve a problem we could have done something else. And in the future, we’re gonna have the choice. Usually Thio do one or the other again. A

[00:22:11.24] spk_0:
question of how much does the charity deserve credit for? Exactly. And and And also, I mean, how much this would have happened on its own. And I think

[00:22:12.39] spk_2:
that partially it’s it’s about, you know, that that framing. And it’s also about from the non profit perspective. Okay, I did this the last year. Should I do it for the next year, You know, or should I Do you know plan B? It’s that type of decision making, and so so a sign. I mean, the social sciences have built a kind of a large edifice of theory and data and and best practices around how to do that. We have basically, like, picked some of the key points and intentionally ignored from the other points in order to build something that’s sort of usable within the nonprofit world, which is very different than the academic world. Um

[00:22:51.80] spk_0:
oh, yeah, Well, yeah, the academic world is the, uh, longitudinal sir study that we’re talking about a few minutes ago. Yeah, all right. And and so

[00:23:01.82] spk_2:
I mean, I will say so. There are some non profits out there that are doing really high quality academic studies, often in partnerships with academic institutions. And that’s been a huge explosion of the last couple decades. But that’s still like the 0.1%. I mean, it’s a small fraction. It’s important for action, but it’s a small

[00:23:41.44] spk_0:
um yeah, on those air. Not our listeners. Our listeners air small and mid sized shops. You know, they’re they’re probably not affiliated with the academic institution. They might be one themselves, but not doing the kind of research we’re talking about. Um, so we try to keep it. Really? Um, so now I guess I think this is better for you, Michael. Uh, eso the impact of results. Score is still in beta. Is that right?

[00:23:47.64] spk_1:
It’s It’s already live. No, it’s You know, technically, this with encompasses a beta system, as as we build out the beacons. But we have What’s the number of larger? The total encompass ITT’s about 6 700 right now.

[00:24:05.74] spk_2:
Yeah. We have 700 on way, have 700 on the compass profiles, and then about 300 on the, um seeing 2.1 that are not part of the score there. Just

[00:24:32.94] spk_0:
informational. Okay. All right. So do they have to be, um, direct service organizations? Still is that I saw three criteria direct service and and receiving private charitable contributions. Is that still the criteria for, uh, getting an impact? The results score that your your direct and your service.

[00:25:20.64] spk_2:
Yeah. Yes, that that is. And I think we’re, uh you know, the type of analysis that we dio just doesn’t work for groups that are doing things like advocacy that that we don’t have. I mean, again, we talk about social science, the causal inference, tools. They break down with a with a program like advocacy because, you know, we it’s a single shot the, you know, three of changes longer and so forth. Um, so we’re really limiting it to that, because that’s what we think that we can say something meaningful about with the current system. There’s a perpetual desire, and like I’ve had, I’ve been in a conversation every two months for the last six years, where it’s come up about doing advocacy. We definitely want to do it. You know, I will say that we’ve said that for every two months for for six years. I think that we don’t have a good way of doing that. And not to say we never will. But we haven’t figured out a way that does it in a way that’s kind of fair and meaningful.

[00:25:39.20] spk_0:
Okay, well, you get there. I mean, this is E. I’m feel like I’m talking to the musk’s off charity evaluation impact impact.

[00:25:48.45] spk_2:
I also planned to be 100 billion here also. This. Yeah.

[00:26:10.24] spk_0:
All right. Well, if I was, if I could buy stock and Charity Navigator, I probably would, because i e I wish I had bought Tesla at 200. You know, pre split. Um, so So you know, I understand it’s something you’ll get to, but I just want to make it clear that, like education is not is not Doesn’t fall within your definition of of service, because the beneficiaries they’re supposed to be paying little or nothing for the service that they’re getting. And education is a tuition model. So education doesn’t fit yet either

[00:27:08.09] spk_2:
some of it doesn’t. Some of it doesn’t way have a basically we’re looking at It’s okay. If the participants based some, we just don’t want them to be. We don’t want it to be mostly a service that is like essentially mirroring a for profit service, but with kind of a non profit structure in terms of how you know how the money flows. So we have done like scholarship programs that are, you know, or their interventions like de worming that actually do increase educational outcomes we would do. But like what we won’t necessarily do at this point is something like a like a private school. Um, you know, we may do the scholarship program of the private school if that was a separate entity and doable, but we wouldn’t do sort of the main. But we would do, for instance, like a high performing charter.

[00:29:21.84] spk_0:
It’s time for Tony’s take two. I am always optimistic at the beginning of a new year. I can’t help it. Of course, last year’s optimism was misplaced. Nobody is 100% s O. That one didn’t work out so well, but I’m still optimistic. I can’t help it. At the end of the recession, I was still optimistic the year after, So I am optimistic about 2021 as I mentioned earlier at the open. Hope it was a time for reflection for you. I know it is for me. I just think good things are gonna happen. Um, I’m launching plan to giving accelerator. We’ve got our first class for that excellent and non profit radio feeling feeling, you know, less constrained now. Yes, it’s been since. I think, since August, I’ve been doing these outside the studio and deviating from the district one hour format. It’s not necessary. It’s not necessary. So, like, today’s show is about gonna be roughly 45 minutes or so, Um, so feeling a little freer about non profit radio? The guests are still awesome. You know, the hostess still lackluster. You know, the core principles don’t change. We’re not not fooling with those things that folks rely on. What would you call something that you rely on on those, uh, foundations? Those bedrocks of non profit radio? Those those don’t change but a little tinkering, you know, the time doesn’t have to be an hour. I realized it could be we could be having our non profit radios. So don’t don’t think that long format is being abandoned. It’s not. But as I said, Just feeling a little less constrained. And how about you? How about you for 2021? Optimistic. I hope. I hope that is. Tony. Take two. I’m optimistic. What can I say? Let us return to New Year. New Charity Navigator with Michael Thatcher and Elijah Goldberg.

[00:29:47.04] spk_1:
It’s worth noting in the star system that z similarly been applied that we tuition based schools. We haven’t been rating where we stopped rating, and then we work. We did continue rating those that were like the Harlem Children’s Zone or other schools that were fully subsidized by their donors. And there was not. Tuition was not an element.

[00:30:10.24] spk_0:
Okay, so it’s still still a possibility. Okay, um, So before we get to the nuts and bolts of how nonprofits get to the next level in Charity Navigator, based on whatever they are now, what else do either one of you want us to know about about encompass or impact and results?

[00:31:21.14] spk_1:
The one thing I’d add is, Is this idea of, you know, particularly you have the impact discussion. It’s It’s oftentimes described in the element of the the social change. One is seeking to to arrive at and charity Navigator really is looking at, and that would be the result of program program effectiveness of a non profit and charity Navigator’s ratings have always, you know, over the years been looking at the non profit as an entity and less the less the programs, particularly given the star rating, which was looking at the finances and then the accountability and transparency. And so there’s an element of that where we’re trying to evaluate, and what encompasses trying to do is give you an impression of how is this organization as a potentially impact making machine? But not, you know, the impact is a key part of that, and we clearly that’s why were we make gifts to charities into the non profit. But it’s also you want to know that you have a strong organization that’s gonna grow, evolve and learn and continue to do better as it goes forward. So it’s more. It’s a progressive system that’s really trying to help move folks to an idea of investment in an entity that is making impact.

[00:31:54.44] spk_0:
Do we have any proof that knowledge of impact changes donor donor outcomes, donor behaviors? I mean, it’s it’s intuitive, but do we know that this enhanced knowledge changes donor giving decisions?

[00:31:58.04] spk_2:
I mean, I think that that’s that would be be a topic for like, a fairly dry I’m interesting chapter book. There’s a lot, a lot there, Thank you.

[00:32:07.78] spk_0:
Well, you’re stuck with a lackluster host. I didn’t think the question was bad. Book. The book may be dull, but my question was decent.

[00:33:47.41] spk_2:
E. I think it’s the reason why it is just because it’s so There’s no there’s no, like, really good crisp answer to that. That’s that. I mean, it’s a very important question. We just don’t quite have the answer. I mean, there have been probably, at this point, about a dozen, you know, depending on how you count studies have been done over the last five or 10 years. That that a probe, that question, um, you know, a handful of our data, often with other other data. It’s a pretty mixed bag, like we’ve seen results that show that presenting impact information really does boost donor behavior pretty significantly. There have been other findings that have found that it has little effect. It seems that matter a lot about framing, you know, that’s a level, I will say that the major donor level, it’s a It’s a somewhat of a clear split. Basically, there’s sort of two camps. There’s the three camps. There’s like we don’t ask anything about impact. There’s the We want you to say something about impact in your grant application. But does that. And then there’s the camp that takes it very seriously. On Dhe, that camp is still pretty small, but they do command, you know, substantial resource is it’s like give well on its donor base. Robin Hood Foundation malago Foundation groups like that on DSO. There is like a pretty hefty sort of institutional a group of donors there. Uh, so that’s the ZX like, kind of a broad rose, but the bottom line is, it’s a pretty murky, messy answer.

[00:34:29.44] spk_1:
But the other data point I could give you tony more from sort of the general public, which has been traditionally charity Navigator’s audience, and the donor base is it’s probably the most demanded thing. We want to see impact in our donor surveys, but how that gets articulated in their actual behavior. It’s harder to tell right so that we have less good data on. We know they’re asking for it, but they’re also asking for low overhead ratios, right? And so you have this kind of conflicting, um, Senate demands in many cases, and but being able to show it to be able to show it with some form of clarity, I think would really help people get their minds around it. You know, we spent a lot of time just defining it in this call. Eso That’s part of the problem,

[00:34:43.44] spk_0:
right? Right now, you just mentioned the overhead ratio. Is that still? Is that still out there? Is that still people still looking for 95% to go toe program? And they’re considering overhead and investment? Ah, bad thing

[00:34:58.84] spk_1:
it’s It’s probably the most you know, particularly when you know, if I get into, you know, talking to mainstream media or you know that that’s the first question that asked, You know, you want to know that all your money is going to program, so unfortunately, it’s still it’s a very prevalent question in a very prevalent focus.

[00:35:32.74] spk_0:
Okay, non profit radio has a little part in that history I had the three CEOs on the eso is Ken Berger from charity Navigator, uh, Jacob from Guidestar. And gentlemen, who is our Taylor? Thank you very much from the Better Business Bureau. Wise giving alliance. So I had the three of them on together when they signed the letter that said, Stop doing T the American public. Stop doing what we suggested you do on DSS. Stopped looking for 97% program because, you know, there could be it could be a very legitimate I mean, overhead is important. Overhead is technology and salaries and CEOs and program people and and infrastructure and security and accountants building maintenance And

[00:36:05.81] spk_2:
what accountants? Who’s gonna tell you how much money you’re setting?

[00:36:33.53] spk_0:
Accountants? You know, it could be investment in a long term program that reward us for five years, so Okay, well, whenever it comes up, I get on a soapbox. But I we tried, you know, we, uh, we had Well, of course, we’re talking to non profit. So the nonprofits understood that all along, but we did have the three CEOs on for a little bit of a mea culpa. Uh huh. Thio when they signed the letter saying, Stop doing this. Stop looking only at overhead. You

[00:36:38.75] spk_1:
know historic that there was the second letter that got sent out. I don’t know if you’re aware of that, because that first letter went out to the donors to the to the public. And then the second letter went out about a year and a half later, saying to the non profit, You got to report on your impact.

[00:36:53.83] spk_0:
Yeah. This is the first letter that went to the American public. It wasn’t that literally, but yeah, yeah,

[00:37:01.87] spk_1:
Tell us what you did.

[00:37:44.03] spk_0:
Yeah, Still hypocrisy there. Uh, or these some dissonance. All right. Um, okay, So if we’re not, I assume this is for you, Michael. If we’re charity, that’s not rated at all non profit. I’m sorry. It was not rated by non profit radio was what I was about to say. Not rated it all by charity Navigator. Because the world revolves around this show. And me, you know, it’s center of the universe is all your all your your your careers, to this point of driven you to this thing. This pinnacle, this zenith, I I know it because I because that’s it. I just know that that’s exists. It’s just assumption. It’s just a known, so I I know it’s just a given. Its it’s not even, uh, there’s no counterfactual. Can’t be argued. So any case, um, if our non profit is not at all evaluated, we’re not even on the charity navigator radar. How did we just get to that level?

[00:39:10.92] spk_1:
So the simplest is you gotta e file and that soon going to be law that that will be your only way of filing that Just get your 9 90 into the system. Once we have three years worth of 19 nineties, we will. We will have enough information to to issue of some form of a rating. The other thing is, if you’re a registered registered 501 C three charity, we already have you in our database. So the ways of getting additional information in there are to submit information to guide. Start now candid, particularly looking at things like the There is how we listen. Optional component of the GuideStar profile that is going to be in part, something we use for the constituent voice evaluation that’s going to be going live in, probably in March of 2021. So you want to get your data into the different data platforms. We’re also working on a portal right now that will allow charities to submit information to us directly. So that will be another means on dhe that is in process. Right now, it’s not built. Um, the other thing is, um, yeah, make yourself known to the to the different portals that collect information. That’s the best way of getting your information other than just your 9 90 information into the hands of evaluators like ourselves.

[00:40:17.81] spk_0:
Time for our last break dot drives relationships, not with journalists. Now we’re talking about relationships with prospects. Your challenge is engaging prospects so they become engaged donors. If you want to move the needle on your fundraising relationships, look at dot drives. The simplest donor pipeline fundraising tool Move folks from prospect to donor, get the free demo for listeners. There’s also a free month. You go to the listener landing page at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant. We’ve got a butt cheek, more time for New Year new charity navigator, and if we want to go to the next level now, if we want, uh, if we want a encompass rating, how do we get to there? So that will

[00:40:20.31] spk_1:
get you when I was just speaking to will get you the information that would get your finance and accountability

[00:40:25.44] spk_0:
school financing account. But right, the 33 consecutive years. Okay, if you wanna go broader with the other beacons,

[00:40:31.51] spk_1:
do you want to speak to that with the what we’re doing in the forgetting?

[00:40:59.01] spk_2:
So for impact, we we have, ah, sort of, ah, early version of the portal that zone impact cherry navigator dot or GE It will eventually grow into the broader portal that Michael talked about, but that that’s the place to start. If you you know, if the non profit goes there and goes to the process, will take a look at that data. Uh, we’re still, you know, from from our perspective, we were doing a lot of work right now to invest in sort of as efficient a system as possible for rating. Um, the problem with impact rating that we’ve struggled with for our entire existence is that it could be very time intensive. Andi, even if even as we kind of cut down the time intensive ity as we try and increase the scale of ratings and kind of keep our team not. Not too much larger, uh, than you know it. It fast becomes impossibility. So that’s what we’re hoping to do with the portal. And, you know, well, you know, usually goes now, impact on trade navigated a torque. Either they’ll they’ll have, you know they’ll qualify for rating now, more likely, given where our methodology is, we’ll ask them questions and we’ll get back to them soon. Once we have kind of mawr coverage for different types of programs, I can talk a little bit more about that. That’s a little bit of nuance,

[00:42:22.50] spk_0:
but so the goal is whole number. Exponential growth. Yes. Okay. Okay. Yeah, at least a square. Okay. Uh huh. And all right, so And the the site again is impact charitynavigator dot or ge. Right. And you can submit data there. Okay. Okay. All right. You leave it there. What do you think? I would just add

[00:43:44.20] spk_2:
one thing, you know, that I was gonna mention before, but it’s a little bit of a tangent. I think it’s always worth mentioning is one of things that we’ve found in our work, which was, I think, actually fairly surprising. Kind of given our Prior Tze when we really started this back in the day. But most groups that we that have gone through this process we found have actually been cost effective on many of them have been have been highly cost effective. So of the of the about, you know, you know, out of 100% about 87% of the group’s we’ve worked with have have, you know, have been sort of been determined to be cost effective or highly cost effective. I think that’s just an important message to share kind of Ford on profits in general. Because, you know, there’s there’s, ah, there’s often, uh, uh huh you know, a perception or ah kind of Ah, a sort of, ah assumption among the public that non profit, they’re not efficient, that that the private sector, the free markets are efficient, non profit, they’re inefficient. Sure, they’re doing good things, but we should be We should be kind of concerned about how they do them on the data shows. That’s that’s really not the case. They there pretty good at achieving, you know, unless unless you as a donor, choosing very, very poorly about which non profit you’re giving, Thio odds are the non profit you’re giving to is pretty effective. It

[00:43:44.27] spk_0:
sounds like the way I buy stocks. Buy high sell, buy high, sell low. That’s my If you look at my portfolio, you’ll see, uh, you see that lesson, uh, come to fruition? Um Oh, and since I’m talking to data scientist, I want to correct myself. So the objective is not necessarily whole number. Exponential growth, but exponential growth greater than one?

[00:44:08.09] spk_2:
Yeah, we’re looking for, like, adding in order. Yeah. I’m sorry. We’re looking at an order of magnitude at another zero. Okay.

[00:44:13.79] spk_0:
Okay. All right. Michael Thatcher leads Charity Navigator, charity navigators at charitynavigator dot or GE and Michael’s at M. Thatcher. Elijah leads the development of charity Navigator’s impact ratings. He’s at Elijah Goldberg, Michael and Elijah. Thanks very much. Pleasure.

[00:44:30.99] spk_2:
Thanks so much for being on

[00:45:28.49] spk_0:
next week. P p p. Two. It’s the paycheck protection program reduction with who else? Jean Takagi. Naturally, if you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you, find it at tony-martignetti dot com were sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot c O and by dot drives Prospect to donor Simplified tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant for a free demo and a free month. Ah, creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. The social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our Web guy, and this music is by Scots. Tony, thank you for that affirmation. Scotty, be with me next week for non profit radio. Big non profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for June 15, 2018: Avoid Website Ageism & Grants For Newbies

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Jessica Meister, Matt Dragon & Justin Greeves: Avoid Website Ageism
How do you design your site to meet the needs of those 65 and over? What about testing with seniors, and accessibility requirements for federally-funded nonprofits? Our panel answers it all. They’re Jessica Meister with Oral Health America; Matt Dragon from Charity Navigator; and Justin Greeves at Porter Novelli. (Recorded at the Nonprofit Technology Conference)



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Janice Chan & Danielle Faulkner: Grants For Newbies
Janice Chan and Danielle Faulkner cover the basics of researching and submitting grants. They reveal free resources to find out what’s available, share tips on tracking deadlines, help you prepare for online submissions, and more. Janice is with Johns Hopkins Institutions and Danielle is from Baltimore Community Foundation. (Also recorded at the Nonprofit Technology Conference)


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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I’m your aptly named host. Oh, i’m glad you’re with me. I’d be thrown into foley dupe aqua if you questioned why you shouldn’t miss today’s show, avoid website ageism how do you design your site to meet the needs of those sixty five and over? What about testing with seniors and accessibility requirements for federally funded non-profits our panel answers at all. They’re jessica meister with orel health america, matt dragon from charity navigator and justin grieves at porter novelli that was recorded at the non-profit technology conference also grants for newbies. Janice chan and daniel faulkner covered the basics of researching and submitting grants they reveal free resource is to find out what’s available. Share tips on tracking deadlines help you prepare for online submissions and mohr. Janice is with johns hopkins institutions, and danielle is from baltimore community foundation that’s also recorded at the non-profit technology conference. I’m tony steak, too thank you. Responsive by pursuant full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled tony dahna slash pursuant radio and by wagner cpas guiding you beyond the numbers witness cps. Dot com and by tello’s turning credit card processing into your passive revenue stream. Tony dahna may slash tony tello’s here is a void website ageism welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of eighteen ntc non-profit technology conference. We’re coming to you from new orleans at the convention center all our ntcdinosaur views are sponsored by network for good, easy to use dahna management and fund-raising software for non-profits this conversation is with jessica meister, matt dragon and justin grieves. Jessica is the web user experience specialist at orel help america. Matt is director of engineering at charity navigator and justin greaves is senior vice president of research. Porter novelli jessica justin welcome, thank you for having welcome to non-profit radio your workshop topic is i’m not the dinosaur. You’re the dinosaur. How your website should keep pace with america’s aging population okay, let’s, start down the end there. Justin, who thinks i look like john mcenroe? He he spilled performance that happen. But i remind you of john macro at least at least happy. Yeah, right now. Not the tennis racket slamming john macaron? Not yet. I haven’t gotten there yet. Yeah, yeah. Don’t give me cause, okay? What what’s the issue here, justin way, talking about websites that are built specifically for senior population, like sixty five it over or accessibility of all websites for the for the elder population? Yeah, yeah, i think i think one or the other, but we’re taking a step back from that and looking at everybody and really looking good. How in my part of the presentation, how people are accessing information generally in society and looking at that websites are a part of that news is a part of that social media is a part of that radio shows are a part of that, right? So seeing how those different audiences by age or by other characteristics are doing things online, are getting information. So we really took a broad view about toe understand that, and there are a couple of interesting trends that we found in our research. Porter novelli we do an ongoing program called styles, which is abroad be of americans lifestyle okay, we’ll get into the research. Remind me if i don’t get teo. I don’t know about research company. Okay, sametz what what’s your sense of this. How do you want to open up the topic sure. So charity navigator biggest user percentages is sixty five and over. And if you lump in fifty five and over it’s really a majority nineties, we in ninety percent, ninety percent, probably around eighty percent. Ok, seventy five percent. So we we have a lot of those users. As i covered in the presentation. Over seventy five percent of our donors to us are seventy five are fifty five and over. So that that’s something that we’re constantly considering in our website design communicating with our users and our donors. Okay, jessica, you’re our user experience specialist. And what what? How do you want to open this topic for the elder population? Eso my belief is that technology should be for everybody, and it shouldn’t be limited to just young people, um and that’s on all of us to create technology and websites and designs that air usable by every single person. I think. It’s a negative stereotype that older adults seniors above the age of sixty five don’t use technology and it’s absolutely not true. Both justin and i have found plenty of research. That is completely metoo contrary. Okay, thank you for that. All right, not. Now that i’m sixty five, i’m approaching now, but, uh, i’m not even in the face, you know? I am in the fifty five over. Yeah, i am in that one, okay, i did remember what i want to talk to you about the research, so i want i do want to start with in terms of how thie older population is using data differently using is using technology differently. Yeah, please, just beyond, i think justcause point it’s ah it’s a myth and it’s a long held belief that older people are behind in technology and don’t use things but what we found in our styles, research that i mentioned before is half of people in the silent generation that’s, age seventy two and above have a smartphone mobile device that they’re using and half half seventy two and over half of our subs on dh in boomers, which you’re you’re, you’re a boom here, boomer young, i’m young, you’re young boomer. Yeah, almost genetics are seventy five percent of boomers have smartphones and that’s the primary way that they’re accessing all sorts of things. News your radio show information about websites e-giving donations online so you got to think about the population, which the vast majority of givers of high givers are also older people. You’re not going to be as effective if you’re just still mailing them stuff, right? They need thio interact and access just the way we all do, and they want to do it on the whole device. Mostly. Okay, okay, you want to add more to the research summary? That’s ah, pretty fair summary. So justin’s work has been primarily in quantitative data and looking at it from, like a sky level view. Getting these good statistics on what usage rate looks like. My work has been more qualitative when you actually sit down and interact with have a senior interact with either a website or a tool or technology, you asked them to use it, completing a particular task, and, yeah, the vast majority of them are wanting to do it on mobile as well. And especially from a non-profit perspective, it’s important to keep in mind that sometimes the on ly access someone may have to the internet is, in fact, on a mobile device. They may not have the means or access to like a desktop computer, and so that was something that we found in our research when we redesign tooth wisdom dot org’s, which is a website designed to provide education and accessed older adults to dental clinics, affordable ones in their area. When we did this study, we found that they really wanted to be able to search and that they may be doing this from a mobile device. Yeah, okay, okay, and in the middle, matt at a charity navigator, what was your part in the presentation so way have this predominantly older user base, but we’re also seeing a lot of growth in the twenty five to thirty, twenty four to thirty five year old user community that we’re seeing, so we’re struggling, too make angels to the site that that appeal to a younger generation, but not turn off or lose our older users in the process. So we have a lot of a lot of sort of feedback and help type questions that we get from older users where they just aren’t used to interacting with with websites like younger generations are on dso we’re always trying to sort of factor that in as we make changes to the site or or consider how we present information on the site. It’s. Time for a break pursuant. Their new paper is the digital donation revolution. I always love all the pursuant free resource is very generous. How do you keep up in our one click to buy amazon world? Can you use more revenue? The paper has five proven to work online. Fund-raising tactics that will save you money. It’s on the listener landing page. Of course. Tony dahna slash pursuing radio now back to avoid website ageism. There’s another layer to this two, which is the federally funded organizations. Yes, by law that required, you have to have accessible, abide by and it’s called section five o eight and it was voted on and passed through congress last year, january twenty seventeen and it just went into effect january eighteen o and this is any organization that receives any federal funding whatsoever, regardless of if it’s one hundred percent or if it’s two percent they receive any federal dollars whatsoever, they’re obliged to adhere to accessibility guidelines there, primarily based on the w keg, which is the world wide web consortiums, accessibility, content and six ability guidelines. Okay, thank you for question that. Because we have george in jail on tony? Yes, i apologize. You just walk in front of the prison? No. Yes, i wanted teo put it out there because it’s it’s an important resource. So it’s w c a g and it’s finding online. You see a g? Yes. Okay. Okay. So, so any any federal money, you’re getting grants for service or whatever, but anything at all and the critically this law applies to not just your public facing website, but anything that you use internally as well. So even if it’s just in internal that on ly the other staff members see all the only your millennial staff is using correct yes, it’s pretty burdens. Yeah, so it’s it’s pretty it’s pretty massive. But this is especially critical to seniors and older adults because forty percent of people above the age of sixty five have some sort of disability compared to twenty percent of the general population. And so, if you’re did, if you’re designing for seniors, you’re designing with accessibility in mind. Okay, dahna let’s. See where should we go testing you? So you do the individual testing. So your roll. Justin is more than quantitative research. About bigger, bigger picture recent yeah, my role in the presentation was sort of the higher level trends and another another thing that we all talked about in all near and dear buses, the impact of social media on things you know, we hear a lot about facebook and twitter and linked in and other things nowadays. And so again, there’s another myth that, well, seniors aren’t on technology and they’re definitely not on social media, which is absolutely false also good. The majority of seniors are on some form of social media, most likely facebook, and so if you think about you need to think about how to meet them where they are just convention on our in our engagement earlier today and that’s going to be mostly on facebook, you know, if you’re trying to get people and get them to interact, they’re going to be in a special channel, they’re going to be in facebook, they’re probably not going to be on twitter very often. There’s another myth twitter’s everywhere only thirteen percent of americans used twitter on a regular basis and of course, we all know one of them right here two hundred, chief, so thirteen percent use it on a regular basis thirteen percent of americans use twitter, so? So if you have an older population, you probably shouldn’t spend too much time on your twitter strategy, which is something we worry about, p r all the time you should think about facebook and think about other channels and think about websites and e mail because that’s, where you’re going to find i like coming back to you not because you thought i looked like john mackerel, but, you know, so it provides the broader context. Yeah, i was okay. And then jessica, you’ve done the individual you use your studies? Yes, sitting with seniors watching them way have devices that watch their eyes on a cz they navigate website. No screen reading studies are available from larger group screen reading, so that technology exists you, khun tracking studies tracking studies labbate which yeah, and then those can develop heat maps that will indicate where someone looks on a site but generally speaking, in terms of how seniors look at a website, it’s not very different from how most of us do most of us like to scan websites, we don’t like to read them. The average amount of time you spend on a website is between around single web pages between thirty seconds and sixty seconds. There’s not a whole lot of time, people, people just try to get what they can and they leave on dh that’s true for seniors as well. They’re there for a purpose way know that they don’t come in through the home page. They came from somewhere else they were looking at or looking for something specific, they link to you, they found it, they leave, yes, so he might try to engage them somehow that gets into, you know, marketing and the web site design, but but leave that aside buy-in they came for something specific, and they’re leaving after they get it correct and it’s interesting, because as webb has evolved over time, the home page has become less and less important because, as you said, they’re coming in from google and they’re landing on the pages that they’re looking for. And so for example, on the homepage is right overrated, for example, on our website, tooth wisdom dot or only eleven percent of our users come in through the home page and so it’s interesting. When you’re doing time evaluation oh, how much time should we think about the home page? Maybe eleven percent of your time, matt, i’m guessing. Does that vary for you? Is home page more important for charity? Navigator it’s actually less so so ten percent of our told my intuition eyes a data driven discussion. Ten percent of our total web page views heir of the home page so not not even landing on it. Just visiting it any point during your visit? Ok? Eso there’s there’s ah it’s a similar thing and i think, really the we mentioned five oh, wait like five oh, wait doesn’t talk doesn’t speak it all to how people move through your sight how they locate information on your site it’s about the visibility, the readability, the color contrast so it’s it’s still very important to talk to your users do the kind of studies that jessica did because you’re not going to know you can be one hundred percent five oh, wait compliant and have xero users able tto do what they’re trying to do when they come to your site. That’s absolutely true there’s a difference between accessibility, compliance and accessibility and practice, you have a loss that’s a minimum standard, right? But this is not going as far as you’re describing now. So, matt, you you’re straddling an interesting position because you said, uh, the elder population is most of your users, but you’re the younger population is growing, so you’re constantly straddling. How do you how do you rationalize that? So part of it is we we addressed it to our channels, so so our website, our facebook tend to have an old, older audience. Our twitter followers, as justin noted, tend to be younger, so we can we can sort of target content that way. Another big part of what we have to look at is just we can’t way sort of can never make a really drastic change to something on our website, because that will throw our senior audience even though a younger audiences is almost surprised when you go when i go to a website and nothing’s changed since the last time i’m there that’s sort of the anomaly, but with supporting older users, we’ve made what we thought were very simple changes to our search results page, and it throws people off and they don’t. Understand that it’s not the final destination, it’s just you have to click through to get to the data, and people are people ask us, you know, where did all the data go? Why did you take away all this information when it’s just they’re looking at a searchers all not at the page that used to be looking at so we go, let me go to justin. This is this has implications around the it’s, the way seniors air using the technology. So you’ve demystified ho are not demystified debunk these myths that, as jessica did to seniors or not using technology, they’re not engaged with it, but how they’re using it and their understanding of it is different. I mean, it’s not as sophisticated as someone who grew up with it. Yeah, it has more exposure. Yeah, i think it’s probably not a sophisticated, but they bring their kind of wisdom and life experience to it. So another thing is, what do you really believe when when you see things on the internet? We did this siri’s that things based on the whole fake news and other stuff to look at, how many people actually get news from facebook believe the news and what do they do have someone post something that they don’t like? So what we found is only about one in ten people now believe what they see in social media is news good. Only about a third of those people click through to actually look at the original content about, like, three percent it’s a very small number on then. But the other interesting thing is seniors less likely to have this one bad behavior, which is diferente de follow people who have a different opinion than them? The younger generations are much more likely tio unfriend or unfollowed someone let’s say, tony of a different opinion than idea about politics or some social thing. Seniors are going to ignore it. Younger people are going basically opt out of you and what that means and you feeling about the implication is we all are just star in our own personal echo chamber, right? What we hear, what we want to hear, we’re only talking people have the same opinion and i think that’s a very dangerous point, you know, america’s based on diversity in the melting pot, and if you’re not hearing people from other cultures or believes our angles, whether you think they’re right or not, you should at least listen. Seniors do that younger people do not very interesting. Okay, so dahna matt, i’m interested in what was the little change you made to the search page, that through seniors that you thought was not a big deal, so we actually we service mohr information onto the search result and gave you mohr functionality via the searchers, always doing things like the result s o that the fact that all that functionality and information was showing up on the search page, people didn’t didn’t understand anymore that they had to click in to a charity’s page to see that high that maurin dept is more in depth. They thought they thought you had a cat in a diddle, the right all the all the information down to just what they’re seeing on this screen, right? The one after the after i click search. Exactly, okay, kapin ate it. Is that the right use of the word? Shorten? Keep it simple, alright, reduced, all right, got it. Some best practices. You ah, from your seminar from the workshop description, you promised them best practices for helping the over sixty five, population sharing you s oh, they’re posted on the handshake from our session, which is eighteen ntcdinosaur okay, very good. So we have them posted there, and you should also be ableto flip through materials and find access to those slides. So some of the overarching principles the first one, which is very important is be big, be bold and be obvious. And so this has to do with create things in large text. High contrast, is it good enough? Text tohave a texting, larger obstruction lodging button it’s not that it’s a it’s a good thing to add it’s a nice feature, but you also have to expect quite a lot of people won’t see that available on dh so fun side, but if you make the guy larger, big that’s not still not adequate, so that goes that’s. A lot of people just will ignore that part of the screen, usually because they don’t visually identify it as the thing they’re looking for, like you said, but making text minimum of a year, she educates. The host brings me along. I’m very gracious. I’m grateful for that. Okay? Minimum size, i think, is recommended at seventeen point font for website. Okay, what’s the way know what the average is? We know what typical website is. A lot of people have it smaller than that because standard booker print size is twelve point and so a lot of people rely on that print standard over fifty percent larger yeah, roughly almost fifty percent larger than the standard book. Okay, okay, big, bold and what was it obvious? And so matt and i talked about this senior sometimes having a difficult knowing which items air interact oppcoll and so we recommend, for example, of recognizing the highlight like they don’t know that, like a button is a button on dh, so you might need literal signifiers to make it look like it’s a three dimensional button with a shadow that you would push in three in real life that’s a literal signifier, but it gives a visual indication that something’s interactive ble and i think literal signifier that central ok previous conversation today i was talking with the woman and sheila warren about bitcoin blockchain that you’re talking about the wallet wallet in blockchain. Is that is that what it was? What was the literal signals? That a literal signifier? I would say so i would say so when we refer to something that’s traditional for something that’s new because blockchain is just yes, people just discovering what it even means or how people think of a floppy disk. Us the same little signified, right? Right. A literal signifier. Yeah. Okay, little signal. I always wondered what those were, but when you see a little bank for for your for your savings or something, okay, little signifier, thank you for that. Your host aggression, right? That phrase down okay. And having nothing to do with this conversation, but or very little to do with it. Okay, i used know that matt had talked about how some of the users on their site had also struggled with things that weren’t necessarily obviously buttons. But we’re click. Okay. You got some. You got some best practices for dealing with the sixty five over. Yes. So? So one of the things is is just to make a literal call out. So one of the things we did teo help with. Our search results problem was making sure that there was there was words that said mohr details or more info, something that even though it’s a link and it’s blue and it looks just like every other charity name link that’s in the search results, the fact that it was more of a call to action and clearly something that if you’re saying, oh, i wonder where the details went, you could click on that thing, and it would take you to the following paige so just things that that sort of are very clear next steps or calls to action. The other thing that we’ve done is pages that might be a dead end, like if you click into a history of donation and you’re looking at an individual donation you made and you want to get back to the list for a lot of younger users don’t know they have to hit the back button, but we have we’ll actually put a button that says, you know, return to my donations so that it’s very clear that there’s always a way out from from whatever page you’re on and sort of similar, just sort of having bread crumbs. Sort of at the top of a page that would list sort of the hierarchy within the sight of the page that you’re currently at. So any anything that that sort of keeps people when, when they might think, oh, now i’m stuck. I don’t know where to go next e-giving them sort of an escape valve or an obvious thing to click on has the next step what are the breadcrumbs? What breadcrumbs on pages so breadcrumbs would be like if if you’re if you’re at the top of the charity navigator page and you click into a category and then it cause it will show you the category you clicked on as we list the causes within that cattle. Are you okay? Trail that contrary? Yeah, apple does that. I think they pioneered a lot of websites. Will have that sort of at the top. You are in the nest, right? Baizman nesting. Okay. Okay, justine, i don’t want to leave you out of the best practices conversation, but you know that you’re part of the bone, and i cracked. I definitely have about okay. And all of us share this theory, which is do more research. I mean, i think that the number one stumbling block block that people have and mac gave great examples and just cut you have to know your audience and do research to understand how they’re using your product or your website or whatever and sit down talk of them. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be a long process that could be a small focus group of granny’s at home or it could be your friends and family, but do research and have a discipline way. One cautionary note that i’ll put out. I don’t want to get in the acronym jail, but be calm argast drug in jail don’t ruin my little signals are like in jail, the literacy that are the literary sent a liberation, but the idea is don’t collect more data than you need because the gdpr is coming general data protection requirements from europe and so everyone in the united states, if they deal with european counterparts, is going to be required. Tio give people who are citizens of europe and the uk, the ability tio, act like they never visited your sight. Are they you know they could be for gotten and it’s very hard, the finds are extremely expensive. They’re meant to be business shutting fines and so don’t collect the any personally identifiable information you don’t absolutely need and have a way for people opt out of that, let them know what you have and have a way to get rid of it because that’s the requirement and starts at the end of may know yeah, i’ve been doing a lot of reading about that. We covered it on non-profit radio a couple months ago. Yeah, yeah it’s a tough one. But again, you know, the my final answer is you do research, it could be informal can be formal, but gets a users and have a feedback channel because we live in a dynamic world and people expect change. Okay, although matt, when people see change, they don’t always know how to react to it. And sometimes they get panicky. Yeah, and that’s the kind of thing that having a group to test that with, you know i can help you sort of a void that that stumbling block so so even even just being ableto put it in front of a small group of people who are in a representative portion of your audience, you know, putting putting in front of my developers is not a way to know if if are our older audiences going tto find a problem, you have some seniors come out to new jersey, you’re you’re in a small town into joe’s we are alleged wort know what is not gonna rock gonna rock. So so we want we it’s something we want to do more of way. Haven’t we haven’t done it? Jessica’s been ableto really incorporated into her process much more than we have. Okay, we do it all the time. And the thing we always say is you get out of your own conference room. Talk to real people, i think that’s very good advice for a lot of it. Also rates back to what you were talking about. You know, night narrowing your circle of of influence that you allow in, you know, but let’s, get out a little that’s. Good for life. Okay? We have to have, like, a minute or so left. Who wants to wants to put the finishing touches on this subject? A little motivation. Jessica, i’m gonna give it to me, okay? Because i started down that end with with justin, so let’s go. All right, so i think, oh, my gosh, no, i’m on the way they were talking to a friend, you know? We said, you know what i’ve been doing this work? Why is this so important? I think it’s very important, especially in the non-profit community that we don’t just talk the talk, but we walk the walk, and so if we say we’re trying to serve a specific population, it’s very important that we do the work to actually do that. And i believe that building tools and resources and technology for seniors is a way that we can live our mission and serve that population. That’s it rubber. Okay, she’s, jessica meister webb and you ex specialists at oral health america. Well, she’s not also mad dragon, but seated next to her is matt dragon and he’s, a director of engineering at charity navigator, and justin greaves, senior vice president of research porter novelli, justin sorry, jessica and justin. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. This interview has been sponsored by network for good, easy to use dahna management and fund-raising software for non-profits and this is tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of eighteen ntc and i thank you for being with us. We need to take a break. Wagener, cpas they go beyond the numbers. They’re covering your essentials nine, ninety and audit before they go beyond the numbers. So first is the essentials. Then they go beyond the numbers. Check the matter whether cps dot com start your due diligence there. Then use the contact page or better go in real life. Pick up the phone and talk to you. Eat hooch doom the partner there. Wetness cpas dot com now time for tony’s take two. Thank you. However you’re listening live podcast am fm affiliate if you’re getting my insider alerts each week thank you. I am very glad i’m very grateful that you are with us. Thank you very much. Now let’s, go to grants for newbies. Welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of the twenty eighteen non-profit technology conference coming to you from the convention center new orleans. This interview, like all our ntcdinosaur views, is sponsored by network for good, easy to use donor-centric software for non-profits i guess now are janice chan she’s, a tech training specialist. For development and alumni relations. Maybe the tech training special, the one of the only are you the guy? I am a team of one seam of one. She is the tech training specialist in development and alumni relations for johns hopkins institutions, and daniel faulkner is donor engagement coordinator for baltimore community foundation. Ladies welcome. Thank you for having a son like you. Your topic is grant proposals for newbies, bootstrapping research and preparations so that’s perfect, actually, for our audience of twelve thousand small and midsize non-profits some of whom may not be doing grants don’t don’t have to get started on grant’s research. You don’t know how to start putting. Well, there’s a paper depends hyre anymore, but doing out online forms, you know, and that probably should be in the fund-raising mix. You think, daniel, for most be a consideration. Definitely it’s, it’s, it’s. A robust process. But once you get it, handle it it’s really easy to follow year after year. So if you could work it into your schedule it’s definitely worth going active. Okay. Okay, janice, anything you want to add to the motivation step i think you get it gets easier. The first one is always tough to figure out, and it gets easier as time goes on, so don’t get discouraged by exactly first one. Exactly number five will be easier than number one. Exactly. Okay, okay, let’s, talk about some of the research, you know. How do you how do you, uh, find out about grants that might be appropriate for u s o for me, i look for free and easy sources. We love free on free it’s always great. I will plug one, which is foundation center. They have a great website to find funding opportunities they have. If you in baltimore, if you go to a public library, you can actually access their account free. They’re free full membership, most libraries or institutions, educational institutions have a membership through them. So that’s a great resource. If you’re looking for nine nineties, you want information about funders? I use them a lot. Their office in d c is great because they’re really if you call, they’re willing to help you and they’re all volunteered face or they have classes webinars that are free. So i use that a lot in my day today foundation research you khun i’m sorry foundation sent to research. You could do any any of their affiliated library in that country. Exactly. There are many there that you don’t have to be a subscriber. You there so we can be who you want to do for your desktop. You won’t get as many features, but the features that are offered through their free on account justice. Good there are okay. The other other janice free resource is that we could take advantage of besides foundations dahna sure grantspace go for any federal funding and that’s that’s up your alley and you’re usually a lot of states will have a local council of grantmaker zor of foundations, community foundations, humor sort of have a consortium and you can sort of go to one place and get some of them, even have a common common form. Okay, okay. Others other we love free resource is anything besides, maybe your community group. I know. In new york, there’s new york regional duitz association of grantmaker is nigh rag. So there’s that goes well, the foundation center. Any others were involved when we have a bag, which is another resource, like a bag thing. Well, i would say community foundations are a great way. Usually most their websites give a general opportunity list of what’s going on for their fund holders. So in baltimore, we have over eight hundred funds that come through our foundation. So that’s a great source. If you know your community foundation, get in contact with them to see what’s available and how they can help. Okay? Okay, anymore i’ll keep asking. You say there are no more also like your state or local organization of a non-profit associations. So, maryland, the suspicion non-profit organizations has some of those. Resource is that you can, you know, make an appointment schedule to use as well. Ok, for research there, there for research research. Resource is also okay. Okay. Anything else? I think that covers everything the free and easy. The user friendly ones that are a great start there won’t overwhelm people. Those are really good sources to use when you’re first starting out. Okay. These are also for not only finding well grants, doing your own research around foundations that may fundez your fundez or work. These are all resource. Is that exactly that? Well, okay. Okay. What’s, the next step. So now we now we know where we should be applying. We’re taking it step by step. Danielle, where should we where do we go next? Well, for me, after i’ve done all the research, i have a proponent of writing one grant and then from there outsourcing it and using it to write many multi purpose. Exactly. I call it my my thanksgiving dinner of granting if you go one grantspace irv’s, everyone. So that’s, where most of my work comes in, i would say gathering information that pertinent to your organizations, so that might be your mission statement all your financial papers on the irs, things working with your program team to make sure you have the right lingo in a language down to explain the project that you’re want funding for take some real time to gather that all in one location. So when you sit down and write, you don’t have to go and have to go back and forth. I’m a really big component of doing all the hard work first, so then you can focus on the writing if you that’s not your strong point there’s also a point that’s tangential to that which is make sure you follow all the instructions exactly. Hide everything just for doesn’t really matter how burdensome you think it is. Yes. And they say twelve twelve point fonts on double do it, it’s not a suggestion. Find tabs? Yeah, ever. What was jonas finder town that they need to be labeled? Just do it. Okay, it’s like, in that sense, it drives me of dealing with government bureaucracy. I’m just they may ask things that don’t make sense to you, but and it may not even make sense to the people who are asking for it. It may have been twenty years ago, but just do it okay, just comply. You know you’re asking for their their support. You gotta comply, right? And i’d like to add a point to that to write figuring out like one of things we talked about our session was having a go or no go less right there’s things that yeah, there’s some hoops that you’re going to jump through it’s going to be worth it. But you also wanna they’re going to be some things that maybe is a stretch too far for organizations. Kind of taking you off mission. You’re kind of drifting. From things. So you want to make sure that that’s really feasible, invisible as well? Okay, that’s a very good point, especially in terms of mission, you know, it’s only it’s only sort of related to what you do, you know, they’re going to read through that, right? And you’re probably gonna be unsuccessful in the grant anyway, you know. So why try toe conform your work, tio what they’re looking for? Better to stick with exactly what you do, find funders for that makes it ok. But look at the different angles of what it is that you do that might be appealing to that funder, but it’s, so good to be at the end of day. What you’re actually trying to find accomplice, you gotta be on the same page, okay? Oppcoll you talk about i’m just drawing from what was in your session description? Oh, interpreting instructions is that is that basically what we’re talking about? Or is there more spending one? Yeah, just read them. I would have after you’ve written the actual brand and this is way after have someone not associated with the organization or maybe a co worker who’s, not in the process. Read the instructions of unread your grants so they can look at it from a different eye. Make sure you hit all the targets because if you’re in it and your writing it, you might think you answered that question correctly, but in reality he didn’t, and someone outside of your space well under sand so i would definitely, if you have the time, try to get someone outside of your world to read it and the instructions fired-up anything that janice you want to add, i think also, i don’t like to start with what’s needed less when i go through the instructions like, okay, let’s, before we can gather everything’s, make that checklist that i don’t lose something or i can get somebody else rolling on whatever i need, i need their help with. Okay. Last november, i hosted a panel at the foundation center. I’ve done a fair amount of speaking there. It was not a great writer or professional, but it was a panel of grayce grant oars, funders and one non-profit and the subject matter was building a relationship with the institution, even including at the applications, you know, some some explicitly say no calls. So oppcoll but others are more open to communication or maybe it’s no calls and, you know, we take emails, but talk a little about that early stage where you’re still rating, having getting questions answered, you know, not being afraid, anybody? Well, i’ve never come across a call for a proposal that didn’t have instructions on if you have questions during the process, they always air usually upfront about that which they prefer follow that to a t and that that’s what i told my freelance clients the same way, you know, if you do have a question, let me go through that process for you, but don’t like magically run into that person for that thunder that’s not really appropriate, but follow their rules just like the instructions for the grant follow the rules. What do you mean that people see through that stuff? Yeah, you know, it becomes law fake and phony, and you don’t want that, i don’t know and if the end, if they don’t write, i mean funders know they’ve your non-profit what you’re looking for us funding, right? Like that’s already in the back, right? You want to you want to find out? What? What it is that that fundez hoping to achieve through their grantmaking so that you can line that up. But i think also, if they don’t have explosives constructions about, don’t call, don’t e mail anything like that, right? You know, it doesn’t mean i don’t feel like you can’t. You’re like, you know what? Like our boardmember knows somebody on their board, let’s, just see if that would be okay to have a meeting. Tto, learn more and meet with their program officer to see you. Is this a good fit? Doesn’t line up or, you know, it should be it go looking elsewhere. Good. How about tracking deadline? Make sure we go to a lot of details were like twenty five minutes, yeah, don’t hold back, don’t hold out on non-profit video sures deadline, so deadlines ah, and i’m one of those people would put, like, you know, two weeks ahead of the actual deadline on my calendar, but i think that there are a lot more, you know, when i did a lot of my grantwriting is before a lot of project management skills were easier to use and they are, so i just put a lot of things in a spreadsheet on dh kind of, like project manage things that way think they’re a lot more project management tools now, right where you can put in due date it’s gonna trigger reminder and send you an email or, you know, when you log into that system, et cetera, but i think that that is really key, because if you you know, if you don’t similar, like if you’re applying for a job, you don’t follow the instructions, you don’t meet their time frames, you don’t show that you’re respectful of their time, they’re going like, why am i exactly? We have a deadline it’s an easy right off that in the next way didn’t say postmark said, bye you know you’re gonna be disqualified our land and also building and buffer times using technology. First of all, that’s a technology help brovey times yeah, you’re not gonna be able to devote a solid week to this, so don’t leave five business days before the deadline to get started on that right? Be realistic about what you can do in the time for him, a lot of opportunities may pop up it’s a rare with grants cause cycles are pretty much the same, but be realistic if you are a team of one r office that small, i don’t think you can pull off the whole grant and a time frame of a month that’s a lot of work to do for one person if you’re a small office buy-in some opportunities you have to wait for just go after next year, but yeah, be realistic about those deadlines and don’t think you could just write a grant overnight. I thought clients asked me that, and i always turned them down right away. No, you won’t get my best work at that, so yeah. Just be realistic about what you can produce. What your staff can take on that’s also related to what we were just talking about it, asking questions of the the foundation of the thunder. You know, if the question is coming the day before the due date yeah, that looks back that you know, that even you can’t mask it. They know they’re down you again. You’re gonna be gonna be found out. So all right, plan ahead. Leave yourself enough time. So even a month is really not enough time for a small shop. I like to do at least four to six months and that’s if everything is weight, should be. But there are those rare occasions where something pops up. You can’t miss out, you need it. That’s where i would say if you’ve already written that one grant, you’re prepared already so you can dust it off for what you need from it. And you can apply to that one that pops up within a month. Otherwise, i probably wouldn’t go under a month just because of what you have to produce. If it’s a brand new grant and if they’re asking for a lot. Of extra things that you don’t have time to produce in a you know, good manner, i think the weather you’re starting from scratch like your writing a grand for a new program that you haven’t had to write one for me for right? Like a lot of stuff you can recycle, but some things you can’t or like, they’re taking a very different tack on whatever it is you’re doing. I think the other thing is that the attachments, right? If they want their like budget for mated, a format, a specific way, you you know, your finance person doesn’t have that time, right? So i think just being cognizant of that and being cognizant, what you’re asking of your coworkers will also make the process smoother because you’re always like, i always worked closely with the finance people with our program south and the better relationships i had with them, like, okay, let’s, be realistic about this and also is this realistic for me to ask for? Or is there are there some adjustments that we should make that’s so meet the put the funder is looking for, but that aren’t going to be just a pain for everybody to actually implement if you get the grand also good point too you’re going to be counting on other people? Or is that another reason to allow enough time? Exactly? I don’t want to make enemies in your you got enough opportunity. Do that elsewhere around. Same team here. Okay, i gotta take a break. You’ve heard the talis moughniyah lll from lee elementary school, where they’re getting a monthly donation from tell us for the credit card processing of a parent owned company that’s the secret to the monthly pass of revenue from tell us, ask the people close to your organization who owned businesses that would they switch to tell us that’s the key? Get those insiders started tony dahna em a slash tony tell us now back to grants for newbies anything else around this discussion about deadlines? More hold out on us now don’t wait to submit an online application so the last day like i always i actually block, would block off time on my calendar because i definitely like the day before submitted and like their website has gone down, you know, like will this count against us? We don’t know, maybe we should have submitted it earlier, and so then you end up panicking about it. You know why you schedule it, like at least three days in a fans for, like, an online submission, or, you know, maybe till i get it in the mail, get it, you know, tracks, you know, it’s worth getting a track for that piece of minds. I once drove across town and actually dropped it off. But that’s, an idea you got there twenty minutes before that funders office closed. Got there, just in the nick of time. It was a day off, but that was not ideal. Don’t do that. Don’t do that. Don’t let this happen to your exact a proud moment, okay, but thanks for sharing. Hyre. A prepper preparing for online submissions. We just talked about that clearly. Tips for online. We got more time to get now, when is your sessions? Have you had it? This morning. Okay. Now you spoke for an hour on this topic. And you? We did. Okay. What? I think it was just right. Join now. We’ve been together for seventeen minutes. So are like sixteen minutes. We have a minute of prep. You got more. Don’t hold out on us. Ah, fun fact about me. I love reading nine nineties that’s. If you know what those are, the virus form nine. Ninety. Exact wired by latto you like you’re not talking about the easy no, no, no, no. Thirty patients postcard postcard don’t no, no, actually, i started high school with a non-profit i was volunteering for that’s how we fund-raising to come back because we’re all volunteers so i was taught very of sixteen. Seventeen howto break them down and i enjoy it now for sure somebody tips on how to decipher how to get out of the good things to know you can find out who you need to contact as far as who to invite to her events, if you’re afraid that religion is the foundation, you’re looking at the wound, yes, so they have to list who was involved with our foundation. So i’m talking about their board, who their highest paid person is our persons, you don’t have to disclose your five thing exactly he’s on the nine, ninety okay would say if you are not inviting those people to her events, you should, because those are the people who have power clearly in that organization. If they don’t know who you are and you’re not on their radar, you should be, and that list it verifies, hey, they’re important to be on this form. I should probably know who they are, and they should know who i am so that i always tell people check that list out is web sites aren’t always updated quickly on dh that’s, a yearly thing that the irs form also their disclosure of where they give money. People can say a lot of things, but what they report to the arrests have to be legit, so looking at how much they give tio organizations that are like yours, so if you’re, you know, arts organization and you find a nine ninety where they’ve given in the past, but their highest gift has been two thousand dollars. I wouldn’t go for them for ten thousand dollars. I would stay in that range of okay under two thousand it’s the first time, maybe a thousand, but it gives you a good indication of what they’re capable of giving that’s also looking at their salaries if their executive director only makes fifty thousand and you need that probably shouldn’t ask for fifty thousand. But you should definitely okay, little things like that where you can break that down on nine nineties there free. You don’t have to. Everyone has tohave one. Some of them are located on people’s websites, so they’re really easy to find this buy-in store have foundation. They d’oh d’oh scores another one. I sir, has its foundation, of course, has attorney xero back-up probono also happens. We’re together database e-giving well, yeah, yeah, so little things like that. I kind of check on what i do take on a freelance client and they say, oh, i want to go after this grant, i check out that foundation first and say, is this worth your time? Because they might have grand ideas off. Oh, they’ll give me this when in reality no, they’re not so it’s. A good way to double check yourself and it’s a free source and they have to give it something else that can happen is referrals from board members, but not bona fide like just right. Oh, i heard i heard the rockefellers funded. Yeah, great. You know, let’s see, if that i dont happen, you know our work, you know, they have a lot of money, a rockefeller have a lot of money and gets to exactly everybody knows that. And if they’re not allied with what we’re doing now, what’s the point. Sometimes you have to press back, push back. Otherwise you’re going to be real. Or if you find in baltimore, we have certain family foundations where they give to similar organizations throughout the year if you’re new on the scene and saying, hey, is this a good opportunity or good contact? Tohave you can find similar people are doing your work and say, well, they’ve already got a contact with them. They might like me too. So it’s a good way to say like, are we on the same level, you know. Will they even, like, welcome, ian, if they’re already on that same mind. So i like to look at that. Zoho your peers are exactly know your peers are going after. So you khun get a piece of that pie. Okay. All right. Those were excellent. Thank you, danielle. Insider like pro tips for the nine. Ninety it’s. A weird thing i liked. I glad somebody likes to look at them. It’s mitch, what else? We got several minutes together. Somebody but somebody had brought up like they had this sort of weird program model. And anyhow, i think one of things that’s important to think about is as much as we harp on following the instructions and following, you know, everything that they asked for the tea. Like what? Their contact preferences are, et cetera. Also don’t feel like you should be boston by that. Right. So that’s that’s, i think where working your network has the potential. Teo, open up. You know, other ideas. So i get in terms of corporate funders. Right, corp corporations usually have both, like the they might have a corporate foundation, but there’s a marketing dollars that they give. Out of to write for a slightly different reasons, right? But if you have a conversation with whoever’s in charge of giving right, or even if it’s somebody in their corporate social responsibility department, right, you can have that conversation about, you know it does this make here’s what we’re doing here, some opportunities for your organization to get involved, you know, maybe if employees engagements important to them, whatever it is, right? You finding out what that angle is for, what they’re trying to achieve through there giving right, whether it’s on the marketing event sponsorship side or they really like that grants more formal grantmaking side for it or some bridge of the combination of the two right, and then also corporations, national corporations in this half like local community e-giving where that local store of, you know, say of a large chain store, they might have that store manager might have the ability to give out small grantspace right, it’s a good way to get your foot in the door and say like, hey, can we get we work across the state? Can we get? Is it possible to get funding at that state level? So i think don’t be afraid to sort of, like, figure out what is your foot in the door to start that conversation with them and that’s also where you can find out. Okay, you know what? Maybe this isn’t really good fit, but people move around to write and they remember you like you’ve had a really good relationship with them. You’ve, like, always kept him updated, invited them to your events, right? See what we’re doing, even if you’re not doing it right now, maybe you personally, like i would make, you know, like we’ve gotten i’ve seen people like, you know, like, okay, my company isn’t doing right now make a small personal gift because i think you guys are doing great work, right? And those people have moved, and i’ve also see them come back and say, like, you know what? I’m a different organization that now funds programs like yours, so you know, like, the more you can build those relationships and have those conversations just get on people’s radars, as danny mentioned, the more people you know, just like personal networking, the more people know what you’re doing and see that impact it has, then i think that’s more people can advocate for you. Someone who’s volunteered to re grants for review. Ah lot of the decisions come down to do i know who this person is. Do i know who this grant us for? Andi it’s very shallow thing to say like, well, i don’t know who that is, why i give money even though they’re doing great work, but it’s a reality. If you’re not on their radar, why would they take a chance on giving this x amount of money? So you really do have to think about how you’re engaging those people that you’re going after and don’t just approach them when you need money approached me around so they know who you are and they feel comfortable getting with that amount of money that isn’t that the same as what we do with individual? Yes, come to the clinic and engaged. We educate them just like them. And then, you know, the ultimately that there may very well be a solicitation for some, you know, for something and and janice, you’re point is very good to terms of corporate, you know, it’s not only about money, but employee engagement, your opportunities it’s often very important, right? Or if they’re start opening headquarters in a new community, and then i have a relationship with that community, and you, d’oh, right, that’s, a good place to position yourself as well. Okay, uh, we still have another couple of minutes left, like men and a half or so together. Daniel, i guess. My three takeaways for writing, because that’s, my background study, playwriting. But this is how i get to write as well. It’s all over it’s weird, but i would definitely say, win or lose, funded or not, i was under thank you letter i’m a big proponent of thank you letters that’s part of the follow-up you never know when friend funding will become available. So that little piece of thank you, you know, regardless, we’ll keep them engage. I always say simple equals fundez so you might have a beautiful paragraph about everything you’re doing, but when it gets down to it, it might be too much. So that goes back to the instructions. If they have a word limit, follow it. But also you’re getting too wording and just what you’re doing. Just take it out. They really want to look at the numbers and the outcomes and how they’re going to get that money back if there is opportunity for that looked like that. And then your last one kind of brief. Last one said you had three three takeaway? No, i don’t never mind. Okay. Thinking. Sorry, right to protest to yeah, those are the two big ones too big to take away. Okay. All right. We are going to leave it there. All right, so my pleasure they are. They are jenise chan, the technical training specialist in development and alumni relations for johns hopkins institutions on danielle faulkner dahna engagement coordinator at baltimore community foundation. It sounds like she’s also a freelancer. Yes. Okay. Okay. Girl right. That’s, the freelance for arts funding in baltimore city. We’re looking for that girl right where you are, right? Tio? Yep, like playwright. Okay. Danielle janis, thanks so much. So much. Tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of eighteen, ninety si, thank you for being with us. This interview sponsored by network for good, easy to use donor-centric software for non-profits, thanks so much next week. Storytelling and free facebook fund-raising if you missed any part of today’s show, i beseech you, find it on tony martignetti dot com were supported by pursuing online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled. Tony dahna slash pursuant radio by wagner, cps guiding you beyond the numbers wetness, cps dot com and by telus credit card and payment processing, your passive revenue stream durney dahna slash tony tello’s, a creative producers claire meyerhoff family boats in the line producer shows social media is by susan chavez and our music is by scott stein of brooklyn. You with me next week for non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and be great. You’re listening to the talking, alternate network, waiting to get you thinking. Nothing. Good. Hello, this is bruce chamlong, host of the web design and technology coach. Join me and my guests every tuesday from eight to nine pm as we discussed the latest in web design, social media, marketing, search, engine optimization and technology way also discussed popular topics, including ward press, making money online, better koegler rankings and more every month way. 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Nonprofit Radio for September 6, 2013: The Overhead Myth Letter Signers & Good Overhead, Bad Overhead

Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%

Listen live or archive:

My Guests:

Art Taylor, Jacob Harold, and Ken Berger: The Overhead Myth Letter Signers

Art Taylor
Art Taylor
Jacob Harold
Jacob Harold
Ken Berger
Ken Berger







Written “To the Donors of America,”  The Overhead Myth letter created a lot of buzz in the nonprofit community this summer. My guests are the three co-signers, the CEOs of Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, GuideStar, and Charity Navigator. Art Taylor, Jacob Harold and Ken Berger will explain what led up to the letter, why it was necessary and why they feel “many charities should spend more on overhead.”
Gene Takagi: Good Overhead, Bad Overhead

picture of Gene TakagiGene Takagi, our legal contributor, helps you understand what may be sensible and appropriate non-program expenses for your nonprofit, and what you should avoid. How do you protect your board, officers and employees, but not go overboard on overhead? Gene is principal of the Nonprofit & Exempt Organizations law group (NEO).


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What is that music? This is tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent and i am your aptly named host. Yes, we have new music, new music this week that was cheap red wine and it’s going to be our music going forward. It’s by scott stein and if you’d liketo meet scott, you can go to the facebook page. We have a little q and a with scott stein. I’m very glad that you’re part of the show. Welcome scott. New music and a new year luciana tova for those who are celebrating fifty seven, seventy four oh, i hope that you were with me last week. I would suffer idiopathic ridiculous apathy if it came to my attention that you have ms trim tab marketing. James eaton is president and creative director of the tronvig group. He explained how something small and seemingly insignificant, like the trim tab that’s it helps to steer a ship can make a big difference in your marketing and more social. Now what amy sample ward, our social media contributor and ceo of non-profit technology network and ten, had thoughts about how to manage the internal changes. When you make social media a part of your office culture this week, the overhead myth letter signers written to the donors of america, the three co signers of the letter are the ceos of the better business bureau wise giving alliance guide star and charity navigator our tailor jacob harold and ken berger, who explain what what led up to the letter, why it was necessary and why they feel many charities should spend mohr on overhead. Plus your questions and good overhead, bad overhead. Jean takagi are legal contributor helps you understand what may be sensible and appropriate non-profit graham expenses and what you should avoid. How do you protect your board officers and employees, but not go overboard on overhead gina’s principle of the non-profit and exempt organizations law group neo-sage san francisco i’m very pleased to welcome the three ceos who are the co signers of the overhead myth letter. Art taylor is president and ceo of the better business bureau wise giving alliance they’re at give dot or ge and he’s with us from arlington, virginia. Jacob taylor is president and ceo of guidestar there at guidestar dot or ge jacob’s calling from washington, d c and ken berger is with me in the studio. He’s, president and ceo of charity navigator at charitynavigator dot orb, gentlemen, welcome hi, good afternoon, glad to be here. It’s. A pleasure. Glad to have all three of you. I do want to ask you in the beginning, tio, try to be concise with your answers, because way, have lots of info to cover and just about twenty five minutes together. So tree, please try to keep that in mind. Really my first question. Art galleries for you. How did you get to be the first signer on the letter? How did you guys decide the sequence of the signatures? That’s, what struck me? Well, actually, i’m not sure about how that came about. I think we probably just threw a golf tee around. And whoever got the point got the name of their first. Okay, i don’t think there’s any significant. So about the order of the names. I think we used different orders for different events that we appear at and different communications that we send out. So, there’s. Nothing to be read into my name being first on. Okay. That’s. Very cordial of you to say. The only pattern i could see was alphabetical by first name art jacob and then ken that’s all that’s all i was able to discern, um, let’s, let’s, stick with you there. All right, you guys are the three. You represent the three leading sources of information about charities. Um, let’s start with you first and then jacob, and then can tell us what’s special about your organization, the wise giving alliance how’s it has it has a little different than the others. Please aren’t well, we’re one of the organizations that will actually make a judgment about how we feel about charity’s accountability and where, as i said, we’re primarily focused on whether a charity is accountable to the public, and we have a set of twenty standards that we use to measure the extent to which we believe charities are accountable. The’s standards were developed with the assistance of the non profit sector. It took us a little more than two years to devise the standards back in two thousand one when we last revised. Hm. And so we really feel that they represent the interests of donors, as well as the aspirations and hopes of charities that want to be accountable to their donors. All right. Thank you, jacob. How about how about guide star? Sure. You know, the big contrast i would make with my two colleagues organizations here gets right to something that art said, which is that guide star itself is not an analyst or raider or provider of judgment. What we are is a platform for data from all across the sector. So we have data on every single non-profit in the country for many, many sources, and we want to share others analysis, because we do think that the sort of analysis done by better business bureau wise giving alliance charity navigator can be very informative and important for the field. And we see it as our role to bring together the many different voices and and present them in a systematic way. And jacob, how many hits are you getting on the web site each month? Let’s, let’s. Just establish how relevant thes sites are for donorsearch schnoll sure. So last month we had about one point. Two million unique visitors. Excellent. Okay, unique visitors. Excellent art. I should have asked you how many? How many hits are you getting or if you can say unique visitors each month? Yeah, i don’t know if it’s unique visitors, but we get about one. We get about five and a half million report hits every year. So five and a half million times. Someone will come to our website to see a charity report can. How about charity navigator? What makes it different and and how? How popular. Well, you know, i just want to say first that i think, you know, between the three organizations were about fifteen million dollars in budget trying to oversee a one point five trillion dollars sector. So there’s, this much need for their, you know, all of us. And there’s a lot of us, i think similarities even more than the differences. But we also i do make a judgment, and we have a, you know, five level star rating system scale from zero to four stars. And we have about thirty metrics that we used to make those judgments. We also engage the sector in that. And also we have all one point six million non-profits on our website with information about them, even if they’re not currently rated. Let’s, let’s. Move to the letter itself. The overhead beth letter from believe june is when, when it was formally announced. Jacob the letter cites the misconception that overhead is a poor measure of a charity’s performance. How did that misconception arise? You know, when there’s a vacuum, something has to fill it, and i think there’s a desire on the part of donors as well as journalists, academics, researchers and non-profits themselves tio try to have a way to make judgments about the non-profits sector, which is very diverse and where there certainly are variances been in quality. Uh, and i think people saw the overhead ratio of something that had some meaning i’m sure my colleagues will talk about how it is not meaningless. It’s just what i would call a filter that helps us still filter out a few bad cases, but not a proxy for for equality and, you know, it fiddled it filled that vacuum, and my hope is that over the next few years, as we systematically gather a number of other types of information across the field, that we can offer an alternative that is much more meaningful and useful and helpful for the field on broader that that alternative being much broader than looking right just that overhead, anybody else want to add? To what you feel led up to this serious misconception about our ways, you know, we at the wise giving alliance, we’ve always i believed that you should look at a broad spectrum of things when you’re assessing a charity’s accountability, and while we have financial ratio metrics, address fund-raising and administrative costs, those are just two of twenty different areas that we look into. And, boy, we must ask charities almost three hundred questions before we can actually no of all twenty of those standards, okay? We’re actually met, so we’ve always group believe that there should be a broader look at what a charity does in order to really know if they’re accountable. And so when this opportunity came up for us to come together and share with the public that belief, we were all for it. So that’s sort of how we come into the table can how about you? How’d we get to this misconception? Well, i think it’s been over a lot of years, and i think that there’s been an ongoing debate over the question of what accountability measures should be those that we use the urban institute has done studies, of course, dan piela has gotten a lot of traction, and i think, you know, the views are wide ranging from we should have absolutely no accountability for overhead. There should be it’s meaningless. And i think all three of us were concerned that we be not throw out the baby with the bathwater that there’s a sort of a balanced place. We need to get to. We’re going take a pause for a couple seconds and course will continue with the three ceos of three co signers of the overhead myth letter and live listener love. When we come back, stay in there, talking alternative radio twenty four hours a day. Do you need a business plan that can guide your company’s growth? Seven and seven will help bring the changes you need. Wear small business consultants and we pay attention to the details. You may miss our coaching and consultant services a guaranteed to lead toe. Right, groat. For your business, call us at nine. One seven eight three, three, four, eight, six zero foreign, no obligation free consultation. Check out our website of ww dot covenant seven dot com are you fed up with talking points? Rhetoric everywhere you turn left or right? Spin ideology no reality, in fact, its ideology over in tow. No more it’s time. Join me. Larry shot a neo-sage tuesday nights nine to eleven easter for the ivory tower radio in the ivory tower will discuss what’s important to you society, politics, business and family. It’s provocative talk for the realist and the skeptic who want to go what’s really going on? What does it mean? What can be done about it? So gain special access to the ivory tower. Listen to me. Very sharp. Your neo-sage tuesday nights nine to eleven new york time go to ivory tower radio dot com for details. That’s. Ivory tower, radio dot com e every time i was a great place to visit for both entertainment and education. Listening. Tuesday nights nine to eleven. It will make you smarter. Hey, all you crazy listeners looking to boost your business? Why not advertise on talking alternative with very reasonable rates? Interested simply email at info at talking alternative dot com dahna duitz i love our new music, scott stein, live, listener lover get live listeners all over the country, in fact, and, of course, all over the world. Asia checking in, but we’re going to start domestic san francisco, atlanta, bloomington, indiana what if that’s the centre at indiana university. Leesburg, virginia. North kingstown, rhode island, south portland, maine. Walnut creek, california in san diego, california lots of californians live listener love there’s lots more coming, lots more live listeners glad you’re very glad that you’re with us and i never want to forget podcast pleasantries for the nine thousand or so that listen in the podcast love you too. Um, let’s see ken berger, you’re sitting here in front of me. It’s true i am. You are the only shill willing to come to the studio. How do you feel about this? That the rating organizations bear some responsibility for the evolution of this this overhead misconception? Well, i think you know, when i when i learned about the origins of charity navigator, part of the challenge for us was that the only standardized information that was available to us way back when was thiss financial information on the nine. Ninety. That’s, really all that there was that we could look at it. We always tried to communicate to our users that finance and overhead is just part of what you should look at. That’s always been part of our message, and i think part of our problem part of our responsibility is, we never really got that message out loud and clear enough. And that was where charity navigator one point o had to start. Yeah, it was all that was available. Yes, yes, but, you know, and so we’ve been trying to do bang the drum louder and louder over time, to let people know there are other things that are critical that have to be considered in the most important of all, being the results of the work. Okay, you other guys, anybody wantto weigh in on your organization’s responsibility leading up to this? No, i take it, you know. I’ll just say that i think, you know, we what we didn’t do ratings, we certainly presented the ratio on our site, and, um, i don’t apologize for that, but i think there was always room, as can said for further context provided to users and two donors about how that could be a meaningful peace, but not a full, full story. And then i would also argue that the blame where the credit or the responsibility, however we want to characterize it, goes far beyond any organization that did a rating but all the way to non-profits them cells, which, you know, reinforce this myth by literally, quite literally, billions of times a year, you know, prominently displaying their own ratios on their sites and at times they do that with complimentary data about programmatic results, which i think is very powerful. But when they do that alone, when they they on ly share that information, they really reinforce the myth in a problematic way, and so i would encourage all non-profits to ensure that if they are sharing, they’re they’re financial ratios, that they only do that in the context of their programmatic work and the results they’re achieving their communities, and they might have been doing that in response to donors who were, you know, picking up on it and picking up on the misconception i mean, there’s been a lot of talk about it and that that may have been, albeit sort of, you know, inappropriately waited response, but it may have been a response to the public, so the demand for those for those numbers, i think that’s absolutely right and it’s essentially create a vicious cycle where i think no one wanted it tio kind of spin out of control, and it hasn’t. So now where we’re pulling it back, trying to put things inappropriate contact trying teo affirm this multidemensional approach that we’ve all been talking about write your letter is is addressed to the donors of america, not to the charities of america. Dahna um yeah, go ahead, there’s some something more okay, there’s something i would like to say. You know, i think one of the things that really strikes us is that when a message goes out there, as some people are promoting that what? You should look at his results and results alone and forget about all this overhead. In this other financial business and what not in these other ratios? I think that it’s really ridiculous, and i think it’s really unfair to donors, i think that in a sense donors have made a very rational choice in looking at proxies to some degree, because the reality, as we know from years of research, is that is that the vast majority of non-profits do not publicly report on their results, and in fact, if you take it a step further, the vast majority of charities don’t have any data on their results to report upon. And so it’s not fair. I think two entire, you know to say, well, donors, you know, you should be looking at this when in fact there’s nowhere for most of them to go for most cause areas. For most types of charities, you don’t have robust information. So in addition to the advice that jacob gave about the overhead being paired with the results, i think there’s a fundamental message that charity’s more and more have got to step up to the plate and really take on this matter off results if you want people to look at things other than overhead. You have a really obligation to give them the most meaningful. The most important information which we agree all is about your results. Yeah, the conventional wisdom for for a lot of years has been that our results are unmeasurable were too complex for the work that we do is too abstruse, teo quantify results and that’s still happening. And in fact, we spicy and increasing drumbeat. There are more and more of these kind of particles we see coming out saying, well, we’re too complex. It’s two unique were too it’s, too expensive, there’s any number of a litany of excuses, quite frankly, and we’re not saying that you have to be perfect and it has to be robust. We just want to see charities begin to get on this road and do the best you can just started. Don’t say that. It’s. Impossible. We know that it’s, not there’s. Plenty of resource is out there to help our tailor. The point i would. Oh, please go ahead. There. There are the reasons people give to charities are very complex. And quite a bit of it goes to the extent to which people trust the organization the extent to which they trust people are trying to achieve the organization’s mission and trust can be measured. You are sensed by people, sometimes more so than it can be measured. You know, when we feel that the people in an organization are giving it an honest effort, that they’re working hard to achieve the goals of the organization. We tend to trust that organization, mohr and their different ways of looking at that it’s not always extent to which, you know, we see these results printed so, you know, that has to be factored in, and sometimes trust goes to the extent to which people feel comfortable with how they’re spending their money. And while we don’t like that, it’s still part of the complex mix of what drives people to give to chairs art the letter goes so far as to say that many charities should spend mohr on overhead. What what was behind including that? Well, you know, you can certainly look at some organizations who like to tout the fact that they spend, you know, very small sums of money on overhead and and want to point out that that makes them somehow better than organizations that maybe spending mohr that’s. Dangerous, because if an organization really needs to spend more money on overhead and and that amount is reasonable, they should move in that direction, rather than in a direction that would keep them from being an effective organization by not spending that money. So, i think, that’s, the point that we’re trying to make here. If an organization needs to spend more money on overhead, and they’re still within reasonable boundaries for what would be comfortable for for them and for their board members, they should look in that direction. They should. They should do that, including overhead for long term growth. Minute. This constant struggle between the immediate need and and the the desire to have build scale and capacity for the longer term. That’s, that’s very, very challenging. Yes, that’s. You know, that’s, what boards and executives of non-profits are charged to do? We have to balance the challenges of explaining to a doubting public that he spent expenditures are worthwhile and that they will lead to results. Uh, that’s the role of the board and that’s the responsibility, i think, of the executive running that organization to make sure that the people understand the directions that they’re headed in art taylor is president, ceo of the better business bureau wise giving alliance jacob harold, president, ceo of guide star, and ken berger, president, ceo of charity navigator. And we’re talking about there overhead myth letter that the three of them signed i want to take a moment, send a little more live listener love, hillside, new jersey, yonkers, new york, new york, new york, baltimore, maryland and bloom dale, ohio live listener love out to all of you let’s, go to some some questions we did a lot of pulling for listener questions, and i want to thank all three of your organizations. Thank you and your staffs for retweeting my tweets, looking for questions and really, i wantto do one think all three of you and your and the staff, they were working with me. Really very, very, very helpful. Thank you for that. Um ah, question came from amanda. Pee on da on twitter, she’s at living united who decides and how do you decide what is program and what he’s overhead? These areas can be pretty overlapped and sort of pretty vague boundaries. Who want to take that? That question from amanda p about program versus overhead. How do we decide? I think part of that can be in discussion with your your auditors to help ferret out. Make sure that you’re using the best practices in the policies that air in place to make that determination. We do know that, you know, i bought it. Work is as much an art as a science and there’s some ambiguity there. But there are some experts that have worked with a lot of organizations that you can, i think, rely upon, you know? And the other thing is to remember that were typically looking at larger organizations, those of us at least those of us that are doing these ratings. So those kind of organizations that need to do a gnawed it and to have that kind of expertise they can work with that professional to help make certain that they’re allocating those costs appropriately, that our overhead and that are not overhead and let’s also remember that when we’re talking about overhead, there are two subsets of that in particular, one is fund-raising and the other is administrative, and there was some important differences between those things, and as we’ve been talking about the importance of overhead, a lot of what we’ve been talking about is especially in the area of the administrative, the infrastructure jacob can mentions the fund-raising overhead is there a another? This is another question i got from a couple of listeners about the cost of raising a dollar that phrase, the cost of a dollar raising the dollar, any any guidance around that? What can we what can we offer charities? Well, so you know, i would say this distinction is is an essential one, um, and that when we talk about investing in yourself and investing in training or strategy or internal systems, that really falls into this category of administrative overhead and that’s something that in general, i’m very sympathetic when an organization says we need to invest in ourselves on we need to be able to think in the long run and that ultimately the way that we’re going to maximize effectiveness is by being a strong and effective healthy organization with fund-raising you know, i think that when you look at the cases of fraud, which i believe are rare but it’s still important for us to address, they more often fraud and or gross mismanagement, um, they more often fall into the category of fund-raising fraud or front fund-raising mismanagement, i’m not going to offer any sort of a, uh, redline a particular number where it’s, fine, if you’re below and it’s bad, if you’re above because the non-profit sector is simply to divers for that, i will say that, you know, the vast majority of a dollar raised is going teo fund-raising costs, especially when those air outsourced to professional fundraisers, you know, that’s something that to me is not a red flag at least a pink flag is worth exploring, but i also recognize that, you know, philanthropic capital is the fuel of the non-profit sector, and it does cost money to raise money, and we have to defend non-profits ability to invest in their own fund-raising while recognizing that there are those cases where it goes too far, aren’t we have find it interesting? Yeah, that in our evaluations, about forty five percent of the organizations we evaluate failed to meet one arm or of our twenty standards, but only about twelve percent failed to meet because of some financial ratio issue, whether that be fund-raising or administrative. So, you know, we like to help donors appreciate that if you’re just focusing on these overhead numbers, you might be giving to organizations that you wouldn’t give, too, if you knew more about him. So there’s also the flipside of overhead, which is over relying on them, can can lead you to support organizations that you might not want to if you do so, we think that our financial ratios are probably at the right place, given that so few fails to meet those financial ratio stands. Okay, that puts it in perspective. Thank you. All right, let’s, stay with you. We have a question from the council of non-profits in washington d c on twitter. They are build np capacity. Should we still use overhead? Is it so charged a word? Now that we should be using something else instead, well, you know, the word overhead is a generalization, as we’ve just discussed, what we’re really talking about here is where their charity spending a reasonable amount on administration and program and fund-raising and those are the three categories that we use should we continue to use that those three descriptions? Absolutely, because organizations do need to know how much their spending on these particular categories for purposes of comparing their effectiveness in these particular areas, effectiveness isn’t simply program effectiveness, it’s also, you know, making sure your administration is effective and making sure your fund-raising operation is effective, and i don’t think you can do that without keeping score financially to go along with what you’re doing. From programmatic jacob question from jean takagi who’s, our legal contributor and on twitter he’s at g tak wonders, why did it take so long for the overhead myth letter? Um, you know, a fair question, and i’ll i’ll say that, you know, part of it is just the coordination and that you know, the power here it that our three organizations that have some differences have different approaches, sometimes differences of opinion. Came together because we did share a belief that we have the field could move beyond are our focus on on overhead, it just takes a while sometimes to coordinate that across organisations that even as we are friendly there there elements what we do that are in competition with a city with one at the same time, though guidestar, charity navigator and others did sign a similar agreement back in two thousand nine. So we did do this before. I think part of the differences that, you know, you have the damp a lotta phenomenon, and i also think that and jacob and guide star was very instrumental in this, trying to have a way that tangibly the non-profits could actually sign on and be involved and engaged in the process which pulled people in in a way that weren’t wasn’t in that original effort in two thousand nine. Yep. That’s right. Gentlemen, we have to leave it. Okay. Very, very quick. Back-up. Go ahead, jacob. Oh, just that. And the one thing that has that there’s now hope that their new alternatives emerging and that we can begin to fill the vacuum with something else i want to. Thank all three of you, alright, can burger just said, amen. Thank you, taylor president, ceo wise giving alliance. Jacob harold, president, ceo guidestar. Ken berger, president, ceo of charity navigator you confined art on twitter at wise giving. Jacob is at jacob, harold and ken is at ken’s commentary. Gentlemen, thank you very much for being guest. Thank you so much. Thank you, thank you. Been a real pleasure. We take a break, go away for a couple seconds when we come back, tony’s take, too. I want to express some gratitude, and then gene takagi on good overhead, bad overhead. More live listener, love. Stay with us. You’re listening to the talking alternative network, waiting to get in. Duitz nothing buy-in good. Are you suffering from aches and pains? Has traditional medicine let you down? Are you tired of taking toxic medications, then come to the double diamond wellness center and learn how our natural methods can help you to hell? Call us now at to one to seven to one eight, one eight three that’s to one to seven to one eight one eight three or find us on the web at www dot double diamond wellness dot com. We look forward to serving you. Hi, i’m ostomel role, and i’m sloan wainwright, where the host of the new thursday morning show the music power hour. Eleven a m. We’re gonna have fun. Shine the light on all aspects of music and its limitless healing possibilities. We’re gonna invite artists to share their songs and play live will be listening and talking about great music from yesterday to today, so you’re invited to share in our musical conversation. Your ears will be delighted with the sound of music and our voices. Join austin and sloan live thursdays at eleven a. M on talking alternative dot com. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Buy-in hi, i’m bill mcginley, president, ceo of the association for healthcare philanthropy. And you’re listening to tony martignetti non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Oppcoll got more live listener love, rocklin, california, brooklyn, new york, clinton, maryland, dallas, texas live listener loved to you let’s, go abroad. We’ve got seoul, korea, seoul so so loyal. Such always someone at least one of a couple of today from seoul. Thank you very much for listening on your haserot and chongqing, china usually have more from china, but only one today. Chung ching, china ni hao, time for tony’s. Take two and i want to use this time to just thank you very much for listening. I am grateful for your support of the show. I’m in your ear right now and i thank you for that. Radio is a very personal, maybe even intimate medium, i believe. And i thank you personally for listening and supporting the show. Thank you very much. And that is tony’s. Take two. Just my gratitude for friday, the sixth of august sixth of september. Who writes this copy? Who writes this copy to sixth of august, the thirty sixth show of the year. Jean takagi he’s, the principal of neo the non-profit and exempt organizations law group in san francisco he edits the popular non-profit law blogged dot com and as i said earlier, i’ll give him another shot out on twitter. He’s at g tak welcome back, jean tony, how are you? I’m terrific. What was what was your take on that conversation? You know, i thought it was really interesting. Tony, i really appreciate the fact that the three of the signers of the overhead myth better came onto this show and we’re willing to discuss discuss that issue. I think it’s a really important one to recognize. Excellent. And i was grateful as well it was. And that was the first time i ask can off mike that’s the first time that the three even have been together in a live for him like this. The only other time was answering a newspaper. Reporters questions and, you know, newspaper is a secondary medium to radio, of course. So very glad to be the first time that they were all three together. Live s o. You have some thoughts on good overhead, bad overhead. I got some questions, gene, that really worded differently, but fell into the category of this. How do we decide what is appropriate? Yeah, i think. That’s a great question. Tony and it’s. Difficult. To answer because it’s so specific tio the organizations in the circumstances that may be applicable to that organization so it’s hard to make generalities. Which is the whole reason why it’s hard tto rate charities based on their overhead. But i think we can, you know, lissome general principles of what might be good overhead and what might be problematic. Okay, you have some from categories, then that that we should start with the good, i believe, sure. So i think education is a really good category educating particularly your board of directors so they can understand their responsibilities and how they can best contribute to the organization. I think boards are largely an untapped resource for many charities and investing in educating and engaging them. Figuring out how to best engage report, i think, is really valuable then educating your executive director or ceo. I think that’s so important as well, often times ditigal dd is charged with implementing a plan, and that person may not have the experience or the educational background to do all the things that are required to implement that plan. Perhaps no translating their vision into organizational priorities are setting realistic budget providing. A useful employee feedback, you know, defining and delegating properly assessing organizational needs on dh communicating those two all the stakeholders of the organization, the eighties are charged with doing so much and so many different areas, and they may have tremendous skill and leadership, but they may lack certain certain skills or experience in certain areas, and i think boards have got to make sure that they put into their budget equipping that executive director with the information or consultants or other materials that she or he needs to get the job done. Thiss ah lot of what you’re talking about falls in the category, i think of professional development for the board, for the executive officer on that would also trickle down to the staff as well. Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, i call it education rather than professional development, because professional development sometimes seems like a benefit that you’re giving out to your to your employees. And i think these air just crucial investments, both in making sure that you’re properly equipping your organs, you know, perhaps you’re your most important organizational asset, which people, um and also in terms of just, you know, making sure that you’re going to retain the best people if you’re not educating them, retention is going to be a big challenge, all right? What’s another category of what you deem acceptable and an appropriate overhead expense stop purposes by saying i am a lawyer, chun hee’s. I’m bringing that perspective into this and and others will have other perspective to offer. All right, jeez, what’s coming boy, go ahead regularly at the morris with for me as a lawyer, making sure that you’ve got the right policies in place is really important. I think sound policies can improve on organization’s operations, can help prevent really costly mistakes and keep in organizationally a new organization legally compliant, which can be valuable in so many ways. So that would the expense aside from time to time to create policy and then have it approved by the board, might involve consultants in areas that the organization’s lacking expertise? Yeah, absolutely so anywhere from an auditor, regardless of whether you’re require an audit or not under under laws, maybe an audit or financial review, khun raise cem cem, sufficient information or materials for the board or the executive to consider an internal control policy. Financial management policies getting other consultants involved or lawyers to deal with conflict of interest, document retention, whistleblower issues figuring out what type of gifts are ok to take and which ones are not ok to take. Most organizations don’t have gift acceptance policies and that’s something that they should look into, and i think you’re going to raise maybe an issue of expense reimbursement later on and that’s another good policy to have to make sure that everybody’s on the same page well, okay, around that you and you and i have talked about a lot of these policies in the past, in detail, so around that expense reimbursement there was there’s, an interesting case, a to college, a college president who spent one hundred forty thousand dollars on a trip to china, and it is justifying it. Could i don’t remember the name of the college. I don’t do you? Yeah. It’s, westfield state university and their president was abin da bao. Okay, he’s he’s. So that expense, among other things, it’s. Not just that expense, but among other things. But that one caught my eye because it’s on its face, it would seem so outrageous. But there’s things. We don’t know, like how many people were there and, uh what? What the outcomes were i mean, that could be a justifiable expense, that kind of money for a trip it was to china. I’m pretty sure yeah, absolutely. So i don’t know enough about it to really comment on it any more than to say that, yes, on its face, it can look like it’s going to be difficult to justify expense, but that’s, as it was characterized by the media on dh i don’t know that we have all the information or if the media has sametz displayed, you know, the information that would raise sort of public outcry where otherwise it might be kind of boring to know what justifications there were for such an expenditure. Perhaps there were good reasons teo increase the amount of revenues that coming from from china, or support or toe otherwise in attract students from from there, if that was indeed one of the goals, i think there’s more that needs to be learned about this before criticizing it, and the board or the executive committee of that board had requested and risk steve thirty page audit, i believe, and i think they’re going to need to go through that pretty court carefully. It just raises the point that it’s really without all the facts, as you’re saying, it’s really impossible to know whether one hundred forty thousand dollars for a trip to china or fifteen percent spent on program in a year or are more vice versa in a year is appropriate. You just if you just can’t draw these lines the way one of the ceos i think it was jacob, harold said, you know, and we were talking about i was talking to those guys you just can’t know and be so precise with dollar amounts and percentages, yeah, in some ways are in many ways i would say that st tony, i guess there are the exceptions and aren’t there are always exceptions, but if a charity that’s focused on poverty relief is paying for, you know, first class entertainment, first class flights to paris toe entertain their staff members for retention purposes. I upleaf that’s bad overhead, but, you know, outside of the really obvious examples, it is sometimes difficult t criticize a charity, but i don’t think we can downplay whether donor-centric tae shins are reasonable or not, if you’re transparent organization and that information is coming out through the media through the charity rating sites through your nine ninety, you’re going to want to make sure that that you’re aware of certain expenses that might catch people’s eyes and turned them the wrong way because of public relations and the goodwill that the charity has is, you know, other other than the people of this that that are supporting the charity, another one of the charity’s most important resources that that goodwill so you don’t want to harm that you want to avoid the perception of a bad expenditure. Yeah, especially if it looks like a blatant rip red flag out there. What’s another category you you have for us in the in the good overhead section. A few risks that you have the right insurance investing in the, er, right technology, kind of another area, i think, in terms of raising the effectiveness and efficiency oven organizations performance even currently, and not just building skills for the future. I think you gotta look at things like technology are using data technology, that’s going to be more expensive, upkeep and that’s creating inefficiencies. In the productivity of your staff for that hinders prevents reasonable expansion will knew technology allows for more effective and efficient ways of advancing the mission, communicating with the donors and supporters, finding new donors, you know, mobilizing advocacy efforts, measuring and analyzing impact. And i think measurement tools is another thing there’s a demand now from from lots of sources about well, if it’s not overhead it’s about, are you creating positive impact? And if that’s the big question out there now what? How our charity is measuring that i think are may have mentioned that a lot of charities, they’re not showing that in their nine nineties, we can’t really determine howto review charities based dahna on impact and part of that is because it’s so hard to measure, but what investments are you making there then? I think the last thing i wanted to mention with building engagement and collaboration collaboration is it was such an important part of being more effective and efficient and taking great ideas to scale where, where it makes sense and that all costs money, and if you’re going to label that is overhead and then i think you have to make sure that you’re putting your money in the right place. One of those questions that i read from a listener was, you know, he’s overhead, a jaded term now. But, you know, maybe i’m probably doesn’t really matter what the term is, but investment is something that i think that sounds more positive than overhead, and it seems to fall into. I think it sort of captures a lot of what you’re talking about in terms of engagement. You know, in investing in people and maybe joint ventures and things like that, we have to go away for a couple seconds. Jean, of course, will stay with us, and we keep talking about good overhead, bad overhead. Got a little more live listener, love, stay with us. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Oppcoll are you stuck in your business or career trying to take your business to the next level, and it keeps hitting a wall? This is sam liebowitz, the conscious consultant. I will help you get to the root cause of your abundance issues and help move you forward in your life. Call me now and let’s. Create the future you dream of. Two, one, two, seven, two, one, eight, one, eight, three, that’s to one to seven to one, eight one eight three. The conscious consultant helping conscious people. Be better business people. Have you ever considered consulting a road map when you feel you need help getting to your destination when the normal path seems blocked? A little help can come in handy when choosing an alternate route. Your natal chart is a map of your potentials. It addresses relationships, finance, business, health and, above all, creativity. Current planetary cycles can either support or challenge your objectives. I’m montgomery taylor. If you would like to explore the help of a private astrological reading, please contact me at monte at monty taylor dot. Com let’s monte m o nt y at monty taylor dot com. Talking alternative radio twenty four hours a day. No. Got more live listener love, vietnam live listener love out to you, warrington uk and mara pole, ukraine live listener left each of you. I’m sorry, we don’t have vietnamese or ukrainian covered in the studio here. We do have japanese, though. Konnichi wa to you, yokosuka! That was terrible. Let me try that again. Yokosuka and osaka i could eat you are gene let’s, let’s move, teo bad overhead some something’s in the fall into that category you think probably are hard to justify. Yeah, there are certain transactions that i think or expenses that they’re going to be more difficult to justify than others think again there they’re going to be exceptions to some of these, but generally speaking, if you’ve got transactions that appeared to benefit insiders like boardmember zehr officers mohr than the charity’s intended beneficiaries, those are going to be difficult to justify, and you’re going to want to think carefully about whether you should make those expenses and then whether they’re really of reasonable advantage to the organization if that was to come out in the open. So those are one type extravagant expenses way before we before we moved to benefit another if that one hundred forty thousand dollars china trip is really resulting in very trivial benefits and never with the expectation of muchmore benefits to accrue to the organization but was really about sort of making sure that a president or ceo was traveling on a very enjoyable trip. That’s compensation, that’s that’s not that’s, not an organizational expense that that it’s going to be easy toe to justify in and of itself, and finally appears, you know, having significant expenses on furthering some other cause other than your mission other than your state admissions, then that may be a problematic expenses well, and that may be a violation of your duty. Teo ensure that the charitable, recent sources are used for that particular mission. So if you’re an organization with a mission to improve the lives of children with leukemia, you shouldn’t spend significant amounts of the charity’s money tto help disaster victims in the local community, even if that’s a wonderful cause because that’s not your mission, you mentioned the insider transactions, and one of the policies that were supposed to have when we were talking about good overhead was was conflict of interest policies, but that is not. Supposed to deal with the the insider transactions? Yeah, in part it does, but we can. We can have work transactions that are going to pass the legal requirements of conflict of trance. Interest transactions are not necessarily bad if a director or boardmember is offering an organization rent and one of you know his or her office spaces and that’s slightly below fair market value or nor more than fair market value, that might actually be the best deal for the organization to take. And that deal might be fine. But on the other hand, if you had other choices that were equally viable and it looks like you’re benefiting one ofyou, directors air, doing him or her a favor by renting out when it their offices and that can be problematic, and then you want to you want to factor that into the decision for that particular transaction. You have some thoughts about fund-raising expenses and how they may or may not be good or bad, excessive or or appropriate. Yeah. And there again, it’s it’s really about the care and the diligence at the board and the executive are exercising in determining what is an appropriate amount. To spend on fund-raising expenses and what is to be gained out of it sometimes you know fund-raising expenses are going to be expensive, and if you’re building a new campaign and intending to raise a lot of money, you may have to invest a lot in that to get the right people there. Tio use the right strategies for marketing, but again, you’ve got a sort of manage both what your needs are and what your donors and the public’s expectations are. Well, yeah, it’s a tricky area that’s very hard, though, because the public’s expectations air being set by thie overhead myth misconception, for instance, and what and what they do see some charities publicizing the way i think it was jacob harold, you know, said hey didn’t use the fund-raising expense example, he used the overhead ratio example, but those don’t expectations are very hard to two teo to manage well, impossible to manage their very hard to know sometimes, yeah, i think one of the questions that that has been raised on twitter around the show as well with what you know are the signatory to the overhead midst letter going to do about changing don’t expectations, and i think they’ve got limited power to do it. I mean, it’s, great to shut some sunlight on this issue, but, you know, your donors are your donors on dh you’ve got no, you know, here’s, another overhead expense that you should be spending on is educating your donors about why you’re spending the way you are on if you can tell them exactly what you’re doing and be open with it, hopefully that’s going to justify it for your particular backs of circumstances, but you can’t just simply, you know, expect donors to understand it very, very high overhead ratio initially, uh, let you know, let them figure out for themselves that it’s going to actually result in better impact and lower overhead ratios in the future. You know, companies deal with this, you know, expectations. I said it’s, impossible to manage, not manage, but i don’t know, maybe i’m splitting hairs here, but persuade mean over time, and it does take time, and it does take money. People’s perceptions do change. I mean, look, a tte political candidates who are disgraced and then, you know, win win congressional offices or running for mayor or something on dh, you know, and have a good chance of succeeding. Look at, you know, your own your governor in california, for instance, people perceptions about people can change perceptions about companies can change. Weii just have about a minute left. I mean, it can be done, but it’s a very long and i think expensive process. Yeah, i absolutely agree. And i think it is important for platforms like like this and be open the overhead mid letter and and your show, uh, tony, for people to understand, you know, overhead averages about twenty five percent across all industries in the for-profit world and thirty four percent across service industries, at least according to one major study and a lot of non-profits are scared at anything that approaches over twenty percent and, you know, maybe that’s not right. And sometimes you need the initial overhead expense to build infrastructure uh, before you move on to more efficient systems, and that means your overhead, rachel is going to be bigger as well. So educating more and more people about this through through the media, through other platforms, but also on the organizational level really, really important. Durney martignetti non-profit radio we’re trying to be the change that we want to see in the world jean takagi is principal of neo in san francisco non-profit and exempt organizations law group. You’ll find his blawg at non-profit law block dot com, and you’ll find him on twitter at g tak jean, thank you very much, as always. Thanks, tony, my pleasure. Next week, scott koegler returns he’s, our tech contributor and the editor of non-profit technology news. We’re going to talk about internal versus external social media and communications tools and platforms very much want to thank my three ceo guess the three tenors, i don’t know there were the they were like the three tenors. I don’t know which one would be pavarotti, who were the other three placido domingo and i put it in janice ah, former opera singer on the spot she can’t name the third just she can’t name the third she will as soon as we sign off, i know i’m i’m sorry, janice, if you like this show, then you’ll like my podcast, which i do for the chronicle of philanthropy. It is fund-raising fundamentals it’s monthly and it’s ten minutes each podcast and it’s on the chronicle of philanthropy website and itunes have some more lingering live listener love that io, doylestown, pennsylvania. Bethpage, new york. Port. Charlotte, florida. And tokyo, japan live listener love to all of you. Our creative producer is claire meyerhoff. Gemma’s taylor is today’s line producer. The show’s social media is by deborah askanase of community organizer two point oh, and the remote producer of tony martignetti non-profit radio is john federico of the new rules i’m loving this new music. What do you think you could tell me on the facebook page? What you think of the new music? I hope you’ll be with us next friday, one to two p, m eastern. Talking alternative broadcasting at talking alternative dot com. Duitz e-giving didn’t think the shooting. Good ending. You’re listening to the talking alternate network, waiting to get you thinking. Cubine are you a female entrepreneur? Ready to break through? Join us at sixty body sassy sol, where women are empowered to ask one received what they truly want in love, life and business. Tune in thursday, said noon eastern time to learn tips and juicy secrets from inspiring women and men who, there to define their success, get inspired, stay motivated and defying your version of giant success with sexy body sake. Sold every thursday ad. Men in new york times on talking alternative dot com. Are you suffering from aches and pains? Has traditional medicine let you down? Are you tired of taking toxic medications, then come to the double diamond wellness center and learn how our natural methods can help you to hell? Call us now at to one to seven to one eight, one eight three that’s to one to seven to one eight one eight three or find us on the web at www dot double diamond wellness dot com. We look forward to serving you. You’re listening to talking alternative network at www dot talking alternative dot com, now broadcasting twenty four hours a day. This is tony martignetti athlete named host of tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent technology fund-raising compliance, social media, small and medium non-profits have needs in all these areas. My guests are expert in all these areas and mohr. 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